Thursday, April 26, 2012

Me and Yom Ha'atzmaut

Google's logo today as seen on the Israeli version of the site. The girl in the red dress is about to get clocked with a rock, sent with holiday greetings from an off screen Charedi who objects to her red dress, those saucy knees, and that flag.

For those who might care, (and really, why would you?) I do not say Hallel or tachanun today. The explanation of this stance is provided in a post written in 2005 that bears the glorious 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 don't see any particular reason for Hallel or for bopping people on the head with those silly hammer-shaped knockers, but then I don't see any particular reason to abstain if you like doing those things.

As I do every year, I'll also reiterate that the state-establishing Zionists made two bad mistakes, mistakes that resonate today.
  1. Yom Hashoa should be on 10 Tevet, and certainly not in Nissan.
  2. Yom Ha'atzmaut 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 precedent for this sort of thing. Our crafty ancestors used this trick when they sabotaged Nicanor Day and replaced it with Tannis Esther.

David Williams, an expert on ancient Israel at the University of Georgia, suggests 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 state-establishing Zionists had thought along those lines.

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