The Jewish Spring brings opportunities for reflection and celebration. Starting with Passover, the big splash of home holiday and ritual requirements we then move into Omer Counting, Holocaust Remembrance, Israeli Memorial and Independence Days, an Israeli bonfire and cook-out day on the 33rd of the Omer, and at last Shavuot, the celebration of our covenant.
This week we commemorate and celebrate in two amazing days – Israeli Memorial Day and Israeli Independence Day – Yom Ha-Zikaron and Yom Ha-Atzmaut – joined together as one two-day event. The first day solemn, and then a switch gets flipped at sundown and Israel goes into national party mode.
What a great lesson this is – make sure to see the price of our freedom paid in the lives of our loved ones and ancestors before celebrating with abandon.
In this way Israelis embrace some deeply rooted Jewish ideas about celebrating without ignoring the world in which we celebrate. Even Jewish weddings include a glass-breaking moment so that one of our most beautiful celebrations contains a reminder that the broken world will still need our attention after the party ends.
Reflect and be merry – find joy and remember things that make our celebrations possible.
Happy Spring, Israeli Style!