Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thoughts for Israel Independence Day

Google's logo. I don't really get it. 

For those who might care, I do not say Hallel or tachanun today.  My reasons are outlined in a post written in 2005 that bears the distinction of being the only DovBear post to which Gil Student of Hirhurim has ever linked.

In my view, Yom Haaztmaut is a local Purim, of the kind Jews always extablished to celebrate their deliverance from various tyrants and anti-Semites. Anyone who benefits from the state (in particular the Haredim who benefit more than anyone) should participate with the festive meals (Seudat Hoda) typical of the local Purim.

I'll also point out that early Zionists made two bad mistakes, mistakes that resonates until today.

1 - Yom Hashoa should be on 10 Tevet, and certainly not in Nissan.

2 - Yom Haatzmaut should be on Lag B'omer, but certainly not during Sfira.

Had the founders of Israel combined their new holidays with our old holidays, Jews the world-over would be able to mourn and celebrate together. And it isn't like there's no precedant for this sort of thing. Our crafty ancestors used this trick when they sabotaged Nicanor Day and replaced it with Tannis Esther.

It's been suggested by David Williams, an expert on ancient Israel at the University of Georgia, that it was King John Hyrcanus, a descendant of the Maccabees, who shoved Nicanor Day aside in favor of Purim. Why? " Perhaps to deflect attention from Judah's victory to his own time. Or he wanted a wider celebration.''

A wider celebration. If only the early Zionists had thought along those lines.

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