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Celebrate Israel on Thursday Night!

by guest blogger Noga Malianiak, executive shlicha, Legow Family Israel Program Center

Sixty four years ago, one day after the declaration of the State of Israel, David Ben-Gurion opened his broadcast to the newly founded nation of Israel with the following words:

“Something unique occurred yesterday in Israel, and only future generations will be able to evaluate the full historical significance of the event. It is now up to all of us, acting out of a sense of Jewish fraternity, to devote every ounce of our strength to building and defending the State of Israel, which still faces a titanic political and military struggle.”

Israel, 64 years later, still faces the “titanic political and military struggle” that Ben-Gurion talked about. I, as the future generation, am still trying to “evaluate the full historical significance.”

Tonight and tomorrow we commemorate Israel’s Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror (Yom Hazikaron). Ending at sundown, the somber, reflective mood of Yom Hazikaron gives way to the celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) on Thursday, a transition that emphasizes the enduring tie between the sacrifice of the country’s fallen and the continued existence of a vibrant and dynamic state of Israel. This is the “historical significance” that Ben-Gurion talked about — in order to celebrate what we have today, we need to remember the price that we paid and are still paying.

For me, celebrating Israel’s birthday is just as innate as celebrating my own birthday. My love for Israel is unconditional — not clean of criticism, yet eternal.

Yoram Tahar-Lev wrote the following poem expressing his love to Israel, his homeland:

Oh, tiny little homeland, oh, little land so dear,

A land whose garment’s shabby, a land whose feet are bare,

Oh, let me hear your music, my own beloved bride,

Open u the portals, and I’ll give thanks inside.


Within the shaded forest where sun can never reach,

We’ll put down roots together into the earth beneath,

Into the wells of beauty, the fountains clean and pure,

My homeland even humble, a nomad proud and pure.


They’ll never cease, your wonders,

Your song remains, I know

My heart is at your mercy,

And whispers soft and low:

My own little land, you are mine

You are my sister, my mother, my own,

You and you alone,

All that is left.


Here in MetroWest, our community will celebrate Israel’s birthday tomorrow with a fabulous concert featuring the world-renowned David Broza. It’s taking place at Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston. Tickets are still available for purchase at the door, so don’t miss out.

Looking forward to celebrating together! Happy 64th Birthday, Israel!


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