Our Yom Ha’atzma’ut observance at Emanuel ranged from serious to sweet, and so I thought I would share some of the highlights. During Kabbalat Shabbat, we honored Israel’s 70th birthday with poetry by Yehuda Amichai and others. On Shabbat morning, our Shabbat-A-Tot crowd gathered for story and song, flag-making and marching, and, for good measure, a blue-and-white birthday cake. Religious school did its part, filling its communal prayer with Israel music and remembering the fallen soldiers and victims of terror. And as May arrives, those traveling on our 70th year celebration trip will join me and anyone else who wants to learn more about Israel with a few weeks of inspiring study. Details are forthcoming.
Consider an excerpt from Amichai’s Wildpeace, which we recited Friday night: A peace without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares, without words, without the thud of the heavy rubber stamp: let it be light, floating, like lazy white foam. A little rest for the wounds – Who speaks of healing? (And the howl of the orphans is passed from one generation to the next, as in a relay race: the baton never falls.) Let it come like wildflowers, suddenly, because the field must have it: wildpeace.
Inspired by these words of Amichai, as we celebrate Israel’s 70th, I pray for a peace in Israel “without the big noise of beating swords into ploughshares (Although I would hardly complain about the racket, if it actually happened!), without words, without the thud of the heavy rubber stamp.” I pray for a peace that comes more naturally, from those who simply wish to heal, from those who no longer wish to pass the baton of suffering; from those who can put the political posturing and moral short-sightedness to rest. I hope for a peace that comes more organically, like wildflowers in a field that must have it--in a moral field that must have a wildpeace.
Long live Israel! Am Yisrael chai!
Make it a day of blessing and be a force for good.