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Yom HaAtzma'ut Message 2022 - MWU Department of Education

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Kfar HaMaccabiah, May 2nd, 2022
‏א' אייר תשפ"ב

 

Israel's 74 Independence Day Message

 

Yom HaAtzma'ut, Halel and the blowing of the Shofar

 

Dear Friends,

In the past year, 140 IDF[1] soldiers died in defense of the State of Israel[2]. Since 1860, the year Jews settled outside Jerusalem's Old City walls, 24,068 servicemen and women fell in defense of the Yishuv, the community of Jews in the Land of Israel. 

We write these lines during Yom HaZikaron leChalalei Tzahal (IDF Memorial Day), when we evoke the memory of those thousands of men and women – overwhelmingly young people - who sacrificed their lives so that our People has a homeland, a refuge, a place on the globe - as Hatikvah, our National anthem, says:  Eretz Tzion  v'Yerushalaim; a space in the same world where barely 60 years ago, our right to life was denied in the Shoah that devastated 1 in 3 Jews alive before 1939 - 6,000,000 souls.
We are deeply thankful and infinitely fortunate to live in this glorious period of the history of the Jewish People, despite the terrible cost for all-too-many families in the small Jewish State, bereaved by war of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers who offered their lives for the common good.   To express our gratitude for our State[3] in prayer, those who see the establishment of the State of Israel as an important – even miraculous – fact, include the Halel in their Yom Ha'atzmaut prayers - Israel Independence Day prayers. Halel is a set of psalms of praise, request and gratitude to God. Our Sages teach us in the Talmud[4] that the Halel was instituted to celebrate situations of national redemption and liberation from cruel persecution and dangers.  Salvation that invites recitation of the Halel must have the character of an evident miracle - nes nigle in Hebrew - and should include Klal Yisrael, the whole Jewish People, all components that Maccabi members recognize in the foundation of the State of Israel, its survival against all odds, and its victories in 5 wars over 74 years of modern history.

 

 

We also blow the Shofar in Yom Ha'atzmaut.  Of the 10 reasons for blowing the Shofar enumerated by Saadia Gaon in the 10th Century[5], one is most significant and appropriate for using the Ram's Horn to announce the opening of Yom Ha'atzmaut:  the call that indicates our redemption as a people and summons the reunification of Jewish Diasporas from all the corners of the Earth. We in Maccabi, which maintains the centrality of the State of Israel and Zionism as one of our two core ideals – the second being Jewish continuity – add our Movement's voice to the sound of the Shofar in remembering 

  • that the State of Israel marks the beginning of our Renaissance and Redemption;  
  • that all Jews are permanently invited to join the greatest project of our people in the last 2000 years;   
  • that the miracle of the establishment of the Third Jewish Commonwealth is a splendored gift of life after Jewish generations lashed by persecution, violence, abuse, despoliation, expulsion and murder, often unpunished.

We observe Yom Ha'atzmaut as the most praiseworthy, the most sublime of our celebrations, the one that restores our condition of nationhood in our ancestral homeland, with our reborn language, our capacity for self-defense and our creativity developing in our "national laboratory" in each field: Arts, Sciences, Technology and all the diverse facets of Jewish Spirituality.   We do all this with every resource we command:  our bodies, our voices… our voices in Halel and through the Shofar... and with the Maccabi spirit that guides us in all our activities to strengthen the Jewish People everywhere.

On this 74 Yom HaAtzma'ut, may we all be blessed in the joy of witnessing the growth and flourishing of our small but great State, in peace, recognition and acceptance by the Nations of the Earth, of our dream of a united Jewish People returned to Eretz Tzion ve'Yerushalayim, the Land of Zion and of Jerusalem, Eternal Capital of our People.

In the memory of our fallen, in the wondrous and challenging joy of the Present in the Jewish State and its eternal Future,
Chag Ha'Atzma'ut Sameach!
Chazak ve' ematz!

RABBI CARLOS A. TAPIERO
Deputy Director-General & Director of Education
Maccabi World Union


[1]
Israel Defense Forces
[2]This number includes 45 victims of Palestinian terror.
[3]The State of Israel is the Third independent Jewish Commonwealth in our history: (First) 1273-586 b.c.e; . (Second) 537 c.e. – 70 e.c.
[4]Pesachim 117a.
[5]which we mention before Rosh Hashanah, also called Yom Tru'ah, the day of the Blowing of the Shofar.

 

 

 

 
   
 
Yom HaAtzma'ut Message 2022 - Department of Education
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Read the Yom HaAtzma'ut Message here