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Friday, April 12, 2013

Preparing for Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day

I've been seeing Israel flags and other Independence Day "accessories" on display and sale for the past few weeks.  Now, of course, the country is really into blue and white

For me personally, the most important thing is for us Jews to be a free, independent confident People and function freely and with full sovereignty in Our Land.   So to spend Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, the beginning of the Jewish Month of Iyyar at Shiloh HaKeduma, Tel Shiloh with other women, wandering around the ruins, praying, studying and feasting is just the right thing to do.

Shiloh is an ancient city, the first religious and spiritual capital of the Jewish Nation thousands of years ago, well documented in the Bible.  One of the most interesting things is that Shiloh is not recorded as a city conquered by Joshua after the exodus form Egypt.  From the Biblical text, the city welcomed Joshua without a fight.  The Book of Joshua is a narrative of military victories and defeats as the generation born in the wilderness, led by Joshua and Calev take over the Land G-d promised the Jewish People from the time of Abraham.

It was a period of great learning, failures and successes.  An entire people had to not only relocate but also learn to govern, defend itself  and take full responsibility for all needs.

It was very much like the Israeli War for Independence and the early years of the state.  Sixty-five years later, it's hard to imagine how survivors of the Nazi death camps could have gone straight to battle against the warring Arabs.  How did they have the physical, mental and spiritual strength to take up arms to join with the Zionist pioneers and defend the fledgling, newly declared State of Israel?

Maybe we're actually still in that stage, or more like the time of Judges, which had followed, Judges Chapter 21
כה  בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם, אֵין מֶלֶךְ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל:  אִישׁ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו, יַעֲשֶׂה.  {ש} 25 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes. {P}
Yes, I admit that the State of Israel isn't perfect.  But that is no reason for a Jew to refuse to live here.  It's our job to make Israel a better and more Jewish country.  It's ours; we have no other.

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