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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem

Israel's 70th Independence Day [1] All Across Jerusalem – A Video Digest on Jerusalemite Perspectives


"There is a moment, during our Independence Day prayers, in which all of my worlds connect. A second after I finished blowing the Shofar of Redemption [2] to a crowd of over 6,000 men and women, and the singing of 'Next year in the rebuilt Jerusalem', we began singing 'A Song of Ascents' [Psalm 126], continued with [the national anthem] 'Hatikva', and concluded with 'Ani Ma'min'.

'A Song of Ascents: When the Lord returned the captives of Zion, we were like people in a dream.' Indeed, we were truly like people in a dream. The ancient song that represents the days of yore, our yearning for the miraculous return to Zion, that same dream that Jews from around the world have shared, at times of darkness and of light […]

And immediately following [that song], [we sang] 'Hatikva,' the song that was written prior to the establishment of the State of Israel which became our national anthem, the Zionist dream and its fulfillment, national pride, our present day. The great privilege it is to live in the state in which we are 'a free people in our land' is a dream that will remain so long as 'the Jewish soul yearns.'

And last, [we sang] 'Ani Ma'amin […]' ['I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah and even though he may tarry, I will wait for him'], the twelfth Maimonidean principle. The understanding that despite everything, it is still not complete. There is still much hard work to be done each and every day to turn our reality, our country, into a better world. And that we will never give up on doing so, nor will we tarry, for in the end we shall succeed, in the end he will come.

The three of [these songs] connected: from the miraculous yearning to the modern day free Zionist to the incompleteness [that still exists] and hard work – that for me is Independence Day.

I love you all, I love the Nation of Israel, I love the State of Israel, and I love the Almighty – Happy Independence Day!" [See main video on this post]

– Hanan Rubin, Member of Jerusalem Municipal Council

"After much controversy, Haredi woman lights Independence Day torch [3].

Racheli Ganot lit the torch at the Independence Day ceremony held on Wednesday at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Racheli Ganot is a businesswoman, entrepreneur and CEO of a Haredi high-tech company.

Many in the Haredi community have been against her appointment after accusations that the company she owns exploits women in terms of wages and job security.

In her speech, Ganot did not mention the ultra-Orthodox sector at all, and focused on the high-tech industry, women in the industry, and the contribution of the industry to the State, which she described as the spearhead of the economy.

Ganot defined the high-tech industry as providing equal opportunities to all and may have hinted at the controversy that has surrounded her nomination."
[See link to the video of the torch-lighting ceremony in the first comment below]

– Behadrei Haredim

"An ultra-Orthodox cleric is forcibly preventing girls from participating in the Independence Day celebrations." [See link to the video in the second comment below]

– Shuafat Refugee Camp

"Bedouin soldiers celebrate [Israeli] Independence Day." [See link to the video in the third comment below]

– Shuafat Refugee Camp

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] From Wednesday evening until Thursday evening, Zionist Jewish communities in Israel and around the world celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Israel's Declaration of Independence and subsequent founding as an independent state as the British ended their mandate over Palestine in 1948. Independence Day (Yom Ha'Atzmaut) is a public holiday in Israel marked by public festive ceremonies (including the torch lighting ceremony), free concerts and street parties that often extend to the small hours of the morning. Religious communities often hold festive prayer services with musical instruments, singing and dancing.
[2] The Shofar is a musical instrument used in traditional Jewish ceremonies, made from a ram's horn. The blowing of the Shofar represents awakening and redemption.
[3] Much of the Haredi sector is opposed to Zionism to various extents (some communities support the State, others do not support the State in principle but are willing to cooperate with it, and others do not recognize the legitimacy of the State in any form). Thus, the notion of a woman from within the Haredi sector taking part in such a monumental event in the Zionist calendar as the Independence Day torch-lighting ceremony was the source of controversy from within her own community. Moreover, strict modesty codes which govern the Haredi way of life mean that it is rare, and often looked down upon, for a woman to play such a public role.

#East_Jerusalem #Ultra_Orthodox #Haredi_Jerusalem #West_Jerusalem #Bedouin #Israel_Independence_Day #Nation_Of_Israel #Zionism #Messiah #0202pov