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
Consider an excerpt from Amichai’s Wildpeace, which we recited Friday night:
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
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.