Yom HaAtzmaut: Fulfilling the
By Jessica Rosenblum,
Today is Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel's
Independence Day. Fifty-seven years ago by the Jewish calendar,
on May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion announced the establishment of
the State of Israel by reading from Israel's Declaration of
WE EXTEND our hand to all
neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and
good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of
cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people
settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do
its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire
As American Jews, we congratulate Israel on
marking this anniversary and on its tremendous political,
economic and cultural development in less than sixty years.
On Yom HaAtzmaut, let us celebrate the
richness of the vision of Israel's founders by recommitting
ourselves to supporting the people of Israel in fulfilling it.
Together, let us work to strengthen Israel by becoming the bold
and steadfast partners in peace-making that both Israelis and
Palestinians desire and deserve.
us to raise our collective voice in support of "Pro-Israel! Pro-Peace! Progress!" by
adding your name to Brit Tzedek's new national campaign today
and helping us to gather support within your community by forwarding this message to friends or
collecting signatures on our paper petitions.
Additional Suggestions for
- Participate in community celebrations of Yom HaAtzmaut,
including your local "Walk for Israel," wearing Brit Tzedek
buttons and t-shirts. Show your community that you stand with
them in support of Israel, even though you may have an
alternative vision of what it means to be pro-Israel. For more
information about acquiring Brit Tzedek paraphernalia, please
write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Integrate parts of an excellent Yom HaAtzmaut ceremony written by Brit
Tzedek Religious Affairs Committee member Rabbi Rebecca Lillian
into your own celebration of Israel's Independence
- Gather together with a hevruta (study partner) or
better yet, a group of people to discuss Israel's Declaration of Independence. Use this time
as an opportunity to connect with the ideals of founders of
Israel, to share what those ideals mean to you, and to recommit
to fulfilling the dream by supporting efforts in Israel that
move it toward justice and peace.
Rabbis for Human Rights
in Israel has created Masechet HaAtzmaut, a Talmudic style
commentary on the Declaration of Independence, which can be used
to guide such discussions.
RHR's discussion questions include: How
has this vision of the founders of Israel inspired me? In what
ways does it reflect my vision of Israel and in what way is it
different from my own? How did the authors of the Declaration
envision creating a state that is at one and the same time a
Jewish state yet also a state that affords equality to all its
citizens? How can we build a state that is both Jewish and
democratic? What am I prepared to do over the coming year to
help fulfill the vision of a state that is based on freedom,
justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel?
- Please send any additional suggestions you have about
celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut to the Religious Affairs committee, email@example.com.
Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish
Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite
Chicago, IL 60603
Fax: (312) 341-1206
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