In Israel Blog – An Insider’s Israel Blog – April 23 – Yom Haatzmaut

Shalom and Welcome to this week’s In Israel Blog – Yom Haatzmaut Special


Israel at 64!


The Knesset
turns 64 this week with Yom Haatzmaut (Israel Independence Day) falling this Thursday. Many buildings and cars are already decked out in flags in honour of the occasion. On Yom Haatzmaut itself almost the entire population will take to public parks, private gardens and even the grass reservation on some public roads in order to hang out with family, friends and to mangal (Bar-b-q). It is quite a sight!


The evening before will be marked with fireworks and street parties in almost every village, town and city. The highlight will be the state ceremony held on Mt Herzl in Jerusalem. (This year the scene of an unfortunate tragedy during the rehearsals for the ceremony.)


It is impossible to celebrate independence without reflecting on those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and self determination – 22993 who gave of themselves so that Israel is Israel today. Yom HaZikharon (Israel Memorial Day) always falls the day before Yom Haaztmaut as sacrifice and freedom are the two sides of the same coin. On Yom HaZikaron there are two minutes of silence (both in the evening and morning) marked by the sounding of air raid sirens and everybody and every vehicle stopping, and ceremonies at all the military cemeteries.


We honor their sacrifice and their memory and pray that the number of the fallen never increases.


Last week we marked Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) paying respect to the victims of the Holocaust. The message is that Israel is responsible to ensure that it never happens again.


This week’s recommendation is to enjoy Yom Haatzmaut  – take part in the steet parties in the evening, see something of Israel (a view, a hike or a museum in the morning and mangal (Bar-b-q) in the afternoon. For a list of 64 museums and sites that are open on Yom Haatzmaut – see Ministry of Culture – 64 Sites (Hebrew only) and reflect on the wonders of Israel.


Chag Haatmaut Sameach – Happy Israel Independence Day!


Le’Hitraot from Jerusalem             


Givat HaTurmusim  (Lupin Hill) is famous in Israel for the impressive Lupin display in early spring. Givat HarTurmusim is located in the Ela Valley (xxxEmek Ha’Ela) on Tal Sacho where David and Goliath fought.

Pesach marks our redemption from Egypt under Moses’ leadership. Families will gather all over Israel to retell the story and partake of the Seder (Friday night.) Everybody has been busy cleaning and removing chametz (bread etc) from their homes. It is a frantic period that is a form of slavery in its own right – but in Seder night we celebrate freedom. After Pesach comes Shavuot (in 7 weeks) when we celebrate the giving of the Toraj (law). We hope and pray that Israel will continue to celebrate freedom and law/justice forever more together with all nations.

Over the Pesach holiday there are many special events and programs as much of the country celebrates and takes a week off work. Our guide to Pesach What’s On & Where To Go is a work in progress so be sure to check back over the holiday.

Chag Sameach – Happy Festivals!

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