Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Independence !


As we all know, not every Jew is celebrating Israel's INDEPENDENCE today. The Neturei Karta in Mea Shearim ( and elsewhere in the world) is having a Shiva sitting today. Shiva, fasting and crying about the present "Zionist" State of Israel. 
Probably the two Mea Shearim groups such as the one from Rabbi Yoel Kraus (Kroisz), head of the YIrah veTorah Synagogue as well as Rabbi Israel Hirsch. 

The Edah is not recognizing the state either and their children go to school. Business as usual whereas the rest of the country is on holiday. Most shops are closed and the Israeli's love their Independence Barbecue (Al HaEsh). 

Last night I went to the main celebrations which were broadcasted on TV: The Independence show at Kikar Rabin (Rabin Square) in front of the Tel Aviv municipality building. Some Rabbis called the public for prayer services and Torah study but in Tel Aviv, thousands of people went to Rabin Square. I saw a few light national religious Jews but no Haredi at sight. Actually one haredi Sephardi guy walked around but he used the opportunity for collecting Zedaka (charity). 

While I was watching the rather boring show on stage, I was asking myself what all this has to do with G - d allowing a Jewish state coming into existence. When we consider that G - d is in charge of everything happening in the universe, He definitely allowed a Jewish state to come into existence. Seemingly as a pathway for the final redemption and Meshiach. 

Althought the main entertainer tried to give the show a religious touch (he was talking about Avraham and the Prophet Yechezkel), the show itself was anything but modest or religious. Man and women dancing together, for instance. 
That's okay because what do you expect when you go to a secular Tel Aviv show ?
However, I started asking myself why entire Israeli societies are being left out. It is not that the national religious and Haredim don't want to participate. Many of them would when the celebrations were more modest. Not always necessarily with Mechitza (gender separation) but rather the performance itself. However, the secular celebrated themselves. David Ben Gurion announcing the foundation of a new state, the army, the pioneers. But what about the vast religious community in Israel ? It gave the impression that they don't exist. Hardly anyone was referring to them and why then should they show up ?

The show was rather boring and bound to a tight schedule. Dancing group here, dancing group there. Fireworks. 
The real celebration is taking place today when then population lights their barbecue fires or sits at the beach. Other's learn Torah and I think that besides viting free museums or going to the beach it is not such ad idea to thank G - d for letting the Jews have a place to live after 2000 years in exile (Galut). Although the place may not be too perfect for now.


  1. Mirriam, i guess you missed Rubi Rivlins speech last night, he spoke about the charadim and about those that dont celebrate

  2. B"H

    Most are not directly celebrating but there are many who do acknowledge the day. In contrast to the Neturei Karta.

    By th way, when the evening siren went of on Erev Yom Hazikaron, I saw a litvishe guy standing attention and praying. He even still stood there after the siren had already finished.