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Events and Life Mindsets Travel and places

“Those flags gave me hope”

My wife recently wrote a post about our city’s annual tradition of putting up flags ahead of Israel’s Independence Day. Apparently someone raised concerns on Facebook about how this extra cost was wasted in light of the need for more resources to combat COVID-19.

These flags aren’t an annual exercise in vanity and frivolity, they mean much more than that –

Seeing those flags made me smile. Seeing those flags made my heart feel lighter. It made me feel connected to people, my fellow citizens, when I had spent almost an entire month in my home with no personal contact with anyone outside of my immediate family.

Those flags gave me hope.

It was an affirmation. We are Israel!  We are Israelis –  and we can overcome anything that is thrown our way.

So, random Facebook man, I vehemently disagree!

Those flags are not a waste of money. Not at all. They are – JoyLove and Hope. And they are a promise.

We WILL make it through this.

We WILL survive.

It’s what we do.

Flags of Hope – A Bit of This A Bit of That

You can read the rest of Gina’s post on her blog, or on Lay of the Land where it appeared first.

Categories
Events and Life Travel and places

Fireworks for Israel 71st Independence Day Celebrations

We celebrated 71 years of Israel’s independence earlier this month. We joined thousands of Modiin’s residents to watch a fireworks display in the park.

It was a spectacular display, as usual, and we enjoyed all three parts of the show. I took my tripod with me to attempt some longer exposure photography of the fireworks. I switched to my 18-55mm kit lens, and I think the photos came out fairly nicely.

Yom HaAtzmaut starts at the end of Yom HaZikaron, a memorial day for soldiers and Israelis who died in terror attacks. This year, I decided to learn our national anthem, HaTikva, so I could participate when the anthem was sung at memorial events.

I learned it a few years ago, and then forgot most of the words since then. Having a better understanding of the words in this short anthem made a real difference (as you’d expect). It’s a beautiful anthem, and represents us as Israelis in so many ways.

One version of HaTikva that appeals to me, is this version that the IDF published recently. It speaks to so much of what makes us who we are:

Update: I came across this other video from the IDF that I thought I’d share here too:

Categories
Mindsets People Politics and government

Whether to celebrate Israeli independence?

A debate about whether to wholeheartedly celebrate Israeli independence (it was celebrated last Thursday) has erupted on the Web. It started with Sarah Tuttle-Singer’s Facebook post on 9 May:

She qualified her post a couple days later:

Bat Zion Susskind-Sacks published a response to Sarah’s post on her Times of Israel blog, titled “Open Letter to Sarah Tuttle Singer” which was pretty pointed:

This morning I read a pseudo parody of Tuttle-Singer’s post published by Justin Amler and titled “Why I can wholeheartedly celebrate Israel’s Independence Day” which I enjoyed too (thanks to Rolene for the share on Facebook)

Update (2016-05-16): Also read Amler’s follow-up article on Israel Diaries titled “It’s wonderful to be a Jew on Yom Haatzmaut“:

Justin Amler: It’s wonderful to be a Jew on Yom Haatzmaut

I don’t particularly want to wade into this debate even though I align more with Amler than I do with Tuttle-Singer (who, by the way, I think is wonderful even if I don’t share her politics).

If anything, this debate highlights very different perspectives on Israel expressed by Israelis and Jews across the political spectrum. No surprises there. One of the traits that tend to stand out for new immigrants is how Israelis have a tendency to have what seem to be full-blown arguments with each other, almost routinely. It’s practically a national sport and they are rarely meant to be taken particularly personally.

What we share is a passion for this land. Our land.

Image credit: my daughter who loves ארץ ישראל