April 29, 2009

Tears of sacrifice; joys of independence

Today, Israel is 61-years-old-and-young

And here and abroad, we are celebrating this modern miracle: the rebirth of the state of Israel in its ancient cherished homeland, the land of Israel.

I am typing not ten minutes from the modest building on Rothschild Boulevard
where Prime Minister David Ben Gurion read the Declaration of Independence, May 14,1948 (5 Iyar, 5708). (The declaration was followed by an invasion of the new state by troops from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria, starting the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known in Israel as the War of Independence.)

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but also to Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, and many others

Everyone here understands intimately the daily struggle to maintain independence — a life, a homeland, and normalcy. (Not by accident does Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror immediately precede Independence Day.)

For now, the national flag — flapping in the spring breezes, flies from cranes, rooftops, cars, windows, and thoroughfares. Today's air shows, family barbecues, and educational broadcast programs follow a night of dancing, singing, and fireworks — welcome pauses in forgetting the existential reality for a few precious hours.

Happy Independence Day!
!יום עצמאות שמח

April 17, 2009

At Tel Aviv's Chinky Beach, Singing the "Song of the Sea"

“Then sang Moses and the Children of Israel” [Exodus 15:1] at the miraculous splitting of the Re[e]d Sea, which we commemorate on the seventh day of Pesach.

This year, in a small Tel Aviv cove facing a sunset view of the Mediterranean Sea, the city's four liberal Jewish congregations met at Chinky Beach and sang the "Song of the Sea."

Watch the video (2:52 minutes).

My related post
In Tel Aviv: The orange on the seder plate