Yeshayahu Thirty: Yom Ha’Atzmaut

“Now, come write it on a tablet with them, and on a book engrave it, and it shall be for the last day, forever to eternity (Isaiah 30:8).” The content of what’s being written notwithstanding, this verse says to me that memory is crucial. We write things down so that they won’t be forgotten as one generation dies out and another one comes into the world. We keep records and retell stories to keep their memory alive, always present, even if not firsthand. When it’s done properly, it works. There are events that my parents, grandparents, and teachers have lived through that I wasn’t present for, and yet I feel a personal connection to them, as though I was there, because the living vitality of the memories was transferred to me.

Today is a bridge day. It starts in a time of deep sadness as we continue to mark Yom HaZikaron and cry for the tremendous losses that the Jewish people have suffered in defense of the State of Israel. Then, as evening falls, we wipe our tears and transition immediately into a time of joy as we celebrate the independence that they fought for. It’s validating, that none of these victims died in vain, because Israel is alive and well and 68 today.

“For a nation shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall not weep; He shall be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears you, He shall respond to you (Isaiah 30:19).” Today, we celebrate Israel, and at the heart of Israel is Jerusalem. The modern State of Israel may be only 68 years old today, but verses like this demonstrate that the Jewish connection to the land and the place is eternal. It’s written on tablets, a collective memory for every generation to inherit.

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