We are in the midst of an intense week on the Jewish calendar. Today is Yom Ha'Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We have commemorated this day with two excellent speakers from well-respected organizations: American Jewish Committee's Charlotte Bonelli and B'nai B'rith International's Eric Fusfield.
Days after this mournful remembrance is another sad day, Yom Ha'Zikaron, Israel's Memorial Day, which honors Israel's war dead. It begins on Tuesday night, 3 Iyar.
And then, with a pride and gratitude, we celebrate Yom Ha'Atzma'ut, Israel's Independence Day, on Wednesday evening and Thursday, 4 Iyar.
We will hold a special Yom Ha'Atzma'ut minyan Wednesday at 7:00 pm. I have worked with Mike Horowitz, chair of our Israel Committee, to craft a service that celebrates the impressive achievement -the miracle! - of the founding of Medinat Yisrael, the State of Israel.
When the Israelites settled the land of Canaan more than 3,000 years ago, two-and-a-half tribes asked to dwell east of the Jordan River. Moses permitted this to occur with the condition that those outliers would nevertheless rise to battle with the rest of the tribes, when necessary.
We who dwell outside the land of Israel too must tie ourselves to our sisters and brothers in Israel and throughout the world. This means mourning at times of mourning, and celebrating at the time of celebration.
Looking forward to seeing you on Yom Ha'Atzma'ut to celebrate Israel's independence.
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill