This past Wednesday was Yom Ha-Zikaron – Israeli Memorial Day, which immediately precedes Yom Ha-Atzma-ut, Israeli Independence Day.
In Israel, at sundown tonight, the day shifts from one of mourning, visiting loved ones interred at military cemeteries, to one of revelry and celebration on the anniversary of Israel’s Independence. Israel always links the personal and national cost of independence to its celebration.
We mourn the continued tragic difficulties that Israelis face in the seemingly never ending, only occasionally pausing, strife with Gaza and Hamas. The cost Israelis pay for independence continues almost every day.
Here in the United States, our concerns for physical safety and worries about anti-Jewish expressions across American culture, remind us of the importance of a Jewish homeland.
Our existence as Jews the world over is intrinsically tied one to another, and Israel is our homeland and refuge.
We must deepen our relationships with Israelis and Israel. Our next Israel connections event here in Western New York is with Amiel BaKehila through the Buffalo Jewish Federation. Israeli visitors will be here May 22-23 – including a LaG b’Omer picnic – details here: