Monday, April 15, 2013

Yom Ha'atzmaut 5773

It's that time of year again.
You know, when the flowers are in bloom, but all of a sudden instead of the countryside arrayed in colors ranging from violet to sunny yellow, everywhere you look it's Blue and White.

Israelis have a lot of national pride. And rightfully so! We have given so much - so much blood, sweat and tears, and prayer, and yearning... all of it so that we could return to our land and have a sovereign State of our own. I say we, because, we, all Jews, have been a part of that.

It's the time of year when we can't imagine living anywhere but here. When we lived in America, it was the time of year when I missed my spiritual home so deeply. And I am so glad that now we are here, and that we are making it work, and figuring things out so that each day here is better than the one before!

And then there are the discussions that bug me. Those people who say that because the State is not run according to Halacha, it's not a Good Enough sovereignty to celebrate. And they refuse to take part in the day, the one day a year we give thanks to Hashem specifically for allowing us to return to our land after 2000 years of wandering, persecution, and yearning.
Yom Ha'atzmaut celebrations are really something that generations past would have LOVED to see and have. How can anyone, after davening daily, asking for the return to our land, not know that? (And in case you missed my post on my other blog, there are many ways you can celebrate this Yom Ha'atzmaut, many of them for FREE!)

I saw a great quote on the Life in Israel blog - "So true are the words of Rav Shalom Gold: 'It is interesting that anti-Zionist rabbis constantly were able to find God in the horrors of the Holocaust, but were never able to find Him in the miracles of the establishment of the State and the 65 years of Independence!'"

This really resonated with me, and reminded me of my trip to Poland on a March of the Living Program in high school, so many years ago. We went to Poland and visited the terrible, death camps, the places that left me wordless and horrified. And then we went to Israel, and celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut here, and nothing ever seemed more right. Celebrating in our land, after bearing witness to the horrors of history. Never again seems possible now that we have a land of our own again.

And so I am rambling. I apologize. But I feel so strongly that this little country of ours is OURS. And there is room here for the several million more Jews that are still scattered and wandering. And it's time. It is Just Time for everyone to Come Home.

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