Holocaust

Israel Mourns and Celebrates

Shalom Y’all:

These past few weeks were momentous ones for the State of Israel. On April 12, Israel celebrated Yom HaShoah, which commemorates the death of millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

Yad Vashem Israel Hall Of Names

Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, Hall of Names

 

On April 18, Yom Hazikaron, Israel Memorial Day, Israelis remembered Israeli soldiers missing in action, those who lost their lives fighting for freedom for the State of Israel, and terrorist victims, felled by forces who wish to see the end of the Jewish State.

Garden of The Missing In Action, Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel

President Rivlin pays his respects at the Garden of The Missing In Action, Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel

 

This was immediately followed, on April 19, by the joyous celebrations of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 70th Independence Day. 

Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day, Flag Dance

Flag Dance performed by Bet Shemesh students in honor of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day

Israel Independence Day Flags

Israel flags and sign commemorating Israel Independence Day.

 

Lag B’omer with its festive bonfires was on May 3.   

Lag B'Omer Bonfire, Jerusalem, Israel

Lag B’Omer Bonfire

 

On May 12, Israel won the Eurovision Song contest. See the winning song, Toy,  by Netta Barzilai below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CziHrYYSyPc

 

On May 13 Israelis rejoiced on Yom Yerushalayim, which celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem and the ability of Jews to visit the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. 

Hassid praying at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

Hassid praying at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel

 

On May 14, the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem, followed two days later by Guatemala and on May 21 by Paraguay. Unfortunately, on the day of the United States Embassy move, 50,000 Palestinians engaged in very violent riots, including attempts to breach the security wall separating Gaza from Israel, throwing Molotov cocktails, sending flaming kites towards Israel, etc. These acts, which endangered the lives of Israeli citizens, resulted in the unfortunate death of 62 Palestinians, at least 53 of whom were members of terrorist organizations. Let’s hope Hamas will end the violence so peace can be restored.

US Embassy, Jerusalem, Israel

US Embassy, Jerusalem, Israel

 

After nightfall on May 19 and on May 20, Israel celebrated the Jewish Holiday of Shavuot, Pentecost, on which Jews celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It’s customary to learn Torah throughout the night. In Jerusalem, tens of thousands finish their nightime of study by walking to the Kotel, Western Wall, before dawn, to pray the morning prayer at sunrise. This practice began in 1967, when the army regained control of the Kotel a week before Shavuot and opened it to Jewish visitors on Shavuot. That year over 200,00 Jews came to pray at the site that had been off limits to them since 1948. Since then thousands of Jews continue to walk to the Kotel every Shavuot.

Crowds praying at dawn at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.

Crowds praying at dawn at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.

 

Now its back to the regular routine: for elementary, junior high and high school students until the end of school year in June; college students finish in June unless they they take classes in the summer semester, which ends in August; and for many employees until August, when most Israelis take their vacations.

The three week period of mourning for the Temple begins on July 1 and Tisha B’Av, the fast day for the two Temples, begins the night of  July 21.

The Jewish High Holidays are early this year. The first night of Rosh Hashanah is on September 9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Holocaust, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel, Israel Independence Day, Israel Memorial Day Yom Hazikaron, Jerusalem, Jerusalem Day, Jewish, Jewish Blog, Shavout, Video, Western Wall Kotel, Yom Haatzmaut, Yom Hazikaron, Yom Yerushalayim | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

International Holocaust Memorial Day

Shalom Y’All:

Yesterday was International Holocaust Memorial Day, a day established by the United Nations in 2005 to mark the liberation of the  Auschwitz-Birkenau camp on January 27, 1945.

Israel, in 1953, designated the 27th of Nissan, which is a few days after the end of Passover, as its Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. Other countries have designated other days. 

With all these Holocaust Memorial Day celebrations, is the world any closer to ending anti-Semitism? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding NO.

In the years since the Holocaust, Jews have been physically attacked for no other reason than their Jewishness, in such countries as Poland, France, Germany, Austria, England, Sweden, India, Bulgaria, Australia, etc.  Jews in Europe are now afraid to publicly display their Jewishness.  This past year alone, there were anti-semitic incidents in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa. To date, only in Antarctica here have been no reports of Anti-Semitism.

In many parts of the world and, in particular, the Middle East, anti-Semitism is often disguised as anti-Israel sentiment. However, the Arabs cooperated with the Nazis during World War II and the Palestinian Arab leader, Mufti Haj Amin al- Husseini, who is still venerated by many Arabs today, was the first non-European to request admission to the Nazi party. He was one of the initiators of the plan for the systematic extermination of European Jewry and appeared regularly on German radio broadcasts to the Middle East to spread his anti-semitic hatred to the Arab masses. Today, the PLO charter still calls for the “liquidation of the Zionist presence,” a euphemism for the State of Israel.

So, it appears that the end of World War II and the liberation of the concentration camps was merely the end of one chapter. Unfortunately, the book of anti-Semitism is still being written.

 

Categories: Anti Semitism, Holocaust, International Holocaust Memorial Day, Jewish, Jewish Blog | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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