Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut
יום הזיכרון ויום העצמאות
4th and 5th of Iyar 5783
April 24 and 25, 2023
Thus begins Israel’s declaration of independence.
“The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they won independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote the Bible and gave it to the world. Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remained faithful to it in all the countries of its dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for its return and the restoration of their national freedom. Driven by this historic bond, Jews have struggled through the centuries to return to the land of their fathers and recover their country.(…)“
The first part of the declaration of independence, declared on May 14, 1948, is an explanation of the Jewish people’s relationship with the land of Israel. The continuity of collective memory and the struggle for the right to live as residents, inhabitants and citizens in the land of Israel are the basic components of this relationship.
75 years after the declaration of independence, in 2023 – 5783, we are once again discussing the collective memory of our people and fighting for the right to be citizens of a democratic country. This year, the struggle of Israeli society is not against an external enemy, but against the retrograde forces that have intensified inside the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament.
As we remember the soldiers and all those who perished in the name of the State of Israel, this year more than ever, we must renew the dream for which they lived and died in the Land of Israel. The Zionist dream is a dream in which citizens, regardless of religion, race or gender, are free to exercise their rights and responsibilities.
As we celebrate Israel’s independence, we celebrate the realization of that dream. With the memory of all those who made and makes this dream come true. This year, our responsibility as agents of the transformation we want is to fight for the maintenance of Israeli democracy, for the freedom of the judiciary and for our religious expression.
Reform Judaism in Israel is more accurate than it has been in its entire history. We work to show Israeli society that Judaism and democracy go hand in hand. This year we have the first Knesset Chaver – member of parliament – Reform Rabbi, Rabbi Guilad Kariv. Together with the Guilad, we fight for Israeli society to recognize the role of Reform Judaism.
Support from the reform communities outside Israel is a key part of this struggle. In each community, we strengthen the Jewish values of equality, שוויון, plurality, פלורליות, welcoming the neighbor, קבלת האחר, love of neighbor, אהבת האחר, social justice, צדקה and world transformation, תיקון עולם.
לתפארת מדינת ישראל!
Rabino Rodrigo Baumworcel