Wednesday, April 25, 2007

yom haatzmaut

Yom Hatzmaut was a lot of fun. One of the highlights of the celebration is the candle lighting ceremony, in which someone who represents some group lights a candle and says who they are and why they are lighting a candle. I've never seen it but the ceremony at Mount Herzl is supposed to be all that. Anyways, this year is the 50th anniversary of our village and they asked me to light a candle as a representative of all the olim, past and future, who have and will come to build the village into the great town it is today. I thought it was pretty silly, but I got a lot of comments from people that actually consider it to be a big thing.
The first part of the evening was the special prayer which is culminated by the blowing of a shofar. There were a lot of presentations and speeches before we finally got up to the candle lighting ceremony and by the time I finally lit my candle it was 10:30PM. The next day at davening, most people were dressedin their yomtov finest and we sang hallel and heard the special haftorah.
I was asked if I was really participating because I come from a less Zionistic background and we generally don't say hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut (or listen to live music for that matter, because it is a time of mourning). I replied that we always pasken like Hillel and this day should be no different. (אבות ב,ה) .

My aunt was in visiting from Arizona and she enjoyed both Memorial Day and Independence day.

In the morning we went with 2 other families on a nice 5 hour hike around the base of mount meron. The kids did excellent, though they would have preferred if it was an hour or so shorter. The other two families both brought color-coded books on the flowers of Israel and when we saw interesting looking flowers we stopped to find out what they were.

We finally got back home around 4ish and started preparing for the big mitzva of the day - BBQ. We had about 30 people (including children) and tons of meat. Each of the participating families brought a lot of food. We had hot dogs, steak bits, chicken bits, steaks, bigger steaks, lamb chops, chicken wings, shnitzels and so on. The kids ended the eating by roasting their marshmellows over the grill.

Now life is back to normal until the next big holiday - lag b'omer.

1 comment:

docyaak said...

the last lighting ceremony i went to was at rochels bat mitzvah- was it similar to that one?