Israel’s Independence Day – A time to sing??

“Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel Independence Day!”

This week, we are celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut in Israel. Literally translated it means Independence Day.

On the 5th of the Hebrew month of Iyar, in 1948, David Ben Gurion proclaimed Israel as an independent Jewish State in its Land for the first time in over 2,000 years (since the Hasmonean Dynasty).

My Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Noah Weinberg, who was an 18-year-old young man at the time told me, “The world was watching with bated breath, waiting to see what the Jews would do with their newfound independence…”

Indeed, independence on its own is not what is worthy of celebration, it is what you do with the independence that is important.

Recently I saw a post on a GGOO Family member’s FB page. She was writing about a Rabbi she had heard years earlier.

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The Rabbi quoted a poem by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

“I have on my table a violin string.
It is free to move in any direction I like.
If I twist one end, it responds;
it is free.
“But it is not free to sing.
So I take it and fix it into my violin.
I bind it and when it is bound,
it is free for the first time to sing.”

The Rabbi drew a correlation between the violin string being “free to move in any direction” yet not being able to sing … and …. those of us who talk about how we’ve “been set free” by God, yet we do not “sing.”

It is ONLY when the violin string is affixed to a violin … when it is “bound” to a violin … that it is truly “free for the first time to sing.”

The current debate in Israel drawing hundreds of thousands of citizens into the streets is deep down about this very issue, in my opinion.

One side wants to be free to move in any direction. The other side understands that to truly be free, and be able to sing the praises of our Creator, we need to be bound to Him and his Torah.

In the replay of the webinar above, I explore some of these ideas in detail.

With prayers and blessings for unity among our people and the wisdom to join together to sing the praises of the One who liberated us from Egypt to bring us to this Land.

PS. With thanks and apologies to June Winegardner White for adapting her post.

Israel’s Independence Day – A time to sing??

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