Yom HaAtzma’ut Israel Independence Day יום העצמאות
Happy Independence Day, Israel! Much celebration, going from the solemn remembrance of Yom HaZikaron to the exuberant joy of Yom HaAtzma’ut! L’Chaim!
When is Yom HaAtzma’ut
It is on the 5th day of the Jewish month of Iyar, immediately following Yom HaZikaron, unless the days would be on Shabbat.
What We are Celebrating on This Day
In 1948, Jewish survivors of Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust, from Europe, along with Israeli born Jews, other Jews from around the world, and a few friends, won the intense fight for Israel’s independence. Brave men and women, despite not having much of a chance to recover from the terrors of the preceding years due to the
nazis’ murderous regime, had victory over enemies. This the Israelis did with the Creator’s help. Not everyone acknowledged this fact, but true it was, just the same. Determination, resourcefulness, much hard work were needed to win the war for independence and maintaining a free country. Especially prayer and faith (אמונה emunah) in the Creator were needed, which is also true today.
How Yom HaAtzma’ut is Celebrated
Songs, good food, joy, singing, enjoying these things together with family and friends and most of all, praising HaShem.
The Israeli Flag, which had been half-mast for Yom HaZikaron, is raised and once again flying at full mast.
In the US, some ceremonies take place for Yom HaZikaron right before the start of Yom HaAtzma’ut.
Who Celebrates the Holiday
Aliyah means to go up, to return to the land of our ancestors, Eretz Yisrael. Jews in Israel, either born there or having made Aliyah, and all around the world, celebrate this joyous victory and look forward to future miracles HaShem will do for Yisrael. It’s exciting, because it’s not just a maybe or could be, but a definite thing.
Anyone, Jew or Gentile, from any country, speaking any language, who loves Israel is free to celebrate!
The Significance of Sad Before Joy
As at Pesach when we have מרור Maror, the bitter herb, representing our ancestors’ slavery with the sweetness of freedom, represented by חרוסת Charoset, tears of sadness can be changed into tears of joy. Only with HaShem can true eternal freedom take place in our very souls when we ask Him for it. We need to hang tight onto emuna in Him, in sad and happy times. He is always faithful even when we can’t always see His ways as clearly as we could, unless we look to Him. One of the ways those of us who believe in Yeshua HaMashiach as the Promised One of Yisrael can know that He has already come once, is the return of more Jews to Eretz Yisrael and the fulfillment of prophecies when Israel reclaimed the land in 1948.
The Israeli National Anthem, התקווה “HaTikvah”, Hebrew for The Hope, speaks eloquently about the Jewish soul and that Hope that sings to us from our hearts every day. Some may try to silence or stifle it, but it is always there. I love this song very much and I love Israel so very much. Here is a beautiful rendition of HaTikvah by Seymour Silbermintz.
2 Chronicles Chapter 7 דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים ב
יד וְיִכָּנְעוּ עַמִּי אֲשֶׁר נִקְרָא-שְׁמִי עֲלֵיהֶם, וְיִתְפַּלְלוּ וִיבַקְשׁוּ פָנַי, וְיָשֻׁבוּ, מִדַּרְכֵיהֶם הָרָעִים–וַאֲנִי, אֶשְׁמַע מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֶסְלַח לְחַטָּאתָם, וְאֶרְפָּא אֶת-אַרְצָם.
14 if My people, upon whom My name is called, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Am Yisrael Chai! The Jewish People Live!