May 07, 2008

Israel's Independence Day: From grief to celebration

From Holocaust Day to Memorial Day one week later is not a happy time around here, and the sadness is intensified by the mess our leaders are in.  — Karen Alkalay-Gut, Tel Aviv Diary 

During these days approaching Israel's birthday —
  • I broke my silent reflection on Holocaust Martyrs' and Heros' Remembrance Day, and accepted Stephanie’s sensitive, thoughtful invitation to join her, in Atlanta, in a Skype-recorded conversation with me, now in Israel. My hope is that listeners would reflect on the gruesome realities of the past that threaten everyone, everywhere, always, and resolve to act in ways to help prevent genocide of any people.
  • I remember my cousin Noam Yaakov Mayerson on this Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror. His parents will be arriving soon at the Mount Herzl military cemetery, joining other families and friends at the graves of their loved ones. On August 7, 2006, Noam was killed when Hezbollah terrorists opened fire on an Israel Defense Forces unit in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil.
  • will join Shimon in one of hundreds of ceremonies nationwide this evening when Israeli flags will be raised from their half-mast positions marking the transition from grief of Memorial Day to celebration of Independence. After sunset, the start of a new day, we are commemorating sixty years since the birth of the modern State of Israel in its ancient homeland, the land of Israel.
Tonight, we celebrate what is easy to overlook, scorn, and despise in this dazzling country bursting with the bitter and the sweet.

Happy birthday, Israel. And endless more. Never ending. Everlasting. For eternity.

!יום עצמאות שמח

2 comments:

tamarika said...

Yom Ha'Atzmaut Sameach! Happy Birthday Ha'aretz! Oy - that means next year *I* will be sixty!
Smiles to Tamar from Tamar

Alecto said...

Happy Birthday, Israel. I miss you most exactly this time of year.