Back on May 14, 1948, Israel’s future Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion made a monumental announcement.

Following the signing of a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion revealed Israel was officially declaring its independence.

Obviously, this was an important day in Israel’s history, and as such, the country celebrates Independence Day, known as Yom Ha’atzmaut, every year on the fifth day of the month called Iyar. The holiday takes place right after the celebration of Yom Hazikaron, which is a day devoted to Israel’s fallen soldiers. In 2018, Ha’atzmaut is set to begin on the night of April 18 and carries into April 19.

There are many celebrations scheduled every year on Yom Ha’atzmaut. There is an official ceremony that is held on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on the night before Yom Ha’atzmaut. During this ceremony, there is a speech delivered by the Israeli Parliament speaker. There are also several performances that take place in addition to a ceremonial lighting of 12 torches, each one representing the various Tribes of Israel. Israeli citizens who have made a contribution to society are invited to light the torches to celebrate their accomplishments. In other parts of Israel, there are fireworks displays, performances by Israeli singers, and more.

On Yom Ha’atzmaut itself, the celebrations surrounding Israel’s independence continue. The President of Israel always hosts a reception to pay homage to Israeli soldiers. Many of the Israel Defense Forces open up their bases for visits from the public. There are contests, like the International Bible Contest and the Israeli Song Festival. Israeli citizens often celebrate by hosting barbecues and other events as well. There are also many Jewish people outside of Israel who celebrate the independence of the Israeli and gather for religious services.

Rabbi Richard Polirer will be celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut this year along with Jewish people around the world; however, he shares his wisdom and knowledge of the sacred text for Jewish and interfaith families to commemorate life cycle events throughout the year. Contact Rabbi Polirer today to learn more about the services he can help with.

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