Texas Jewish Post (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 64, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 22, 2010 Page: 19 of 24
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TEXAS JEWISH POST SINCE 1947
April 22,2010 I 19
Mourning and celebration:
and Yom HaAtzmaut
A recurring theme in our
tradition is that of the transi-
tion from a time of tremen-
dous difficulty to a time of
great joy. When we
talk about going from
slavery to freedom and
mourning to celebra-
tion, we rarely have
the ability to truly vi-
sualize such things.
We're blessed with our
freedom on a daily ba-
sis, which thankfully
makes slavery an unfa-
miliar concept. When
we come out of mourning, it
is part of a gradual process as
we return to our daily lives,
but the pain of the loss often
stays with us.
But this week we were able
to experience such a radical
transition in the observances
of Yom HaZikaron and Yom
HaAtzmaut. On Yom HaZ-
ikaron all of Israel observes
a solemn remembrance of
those who gave their lives in
defense of the nation. In ad-
dition to the national mo-
ment of silence and public
ceremonies honoring the fall-
en, a great many Israelis visit
Har Herzl and the national
military cemetery there to
pay their respects. The idea
of having any form of public
celebration that day is simply
foreign to most Israelis.
By Rabbi Jeremy
Yet as soon as Yom HaZ-
ikaron is over, the joyous cel-
ebration of Yom HaAtzmaut
begins. Parties, celebrations,
barbecues and all
kinds of festivi-
ties begin as Israel
celebrates the mir-
acle of the rebirth
of the Jewish state
and how it contin-
ues to thrive into
the modern era
— a miracle that
occurred on the
strength of those
who fought and gave their lives
for the sake of the nation.
The contrast between a
day of solemn remembrance
and one of joyous celebra-
tion is quite stark and almost
shocking, until one consid-
ers the lessons we learn from
this example, inspired by our
tradition. Our sacred texts
speak of many tremendous
reversals of fortune that we
have seen in our long and
varied history, often moving
from celebration to mourn-
ing rather than the other
way around. Despite those
reversals, we continue to
face our history with honesty
and pride. We recognize that
dwelling on the misfortunes
of the past prevents us from
moving forward or acknowl-
edging the sacrifices of those
Each week there are
thoughts in this column
to make you think Jew-
ishly. This week, take the
Jewish Trivia Challenge.
Good luck! (Answers are
1. What is the Jewish day
of rest called?
2. Which holiday cel-
ebrates the Jewish New
3. In which garden did
Adam and Eve live?
4. Which Hebrew word means peace, good-
bye and hello?
5. Who built an ark to save his family and
the animals from a flood?
6. Which prophet was swallowed by a large
7. On which holiday is the Megillah of Esther
8. Who was the young shepherd who killed a
giant named Goliath?
9. To whom did G-d speak from a burning
10. What was the departure of Moses and
the Israelites from Egypt called?
11. Which holiday comes from the Hebrew
word meaning booths or huts?
12. According to the Torah, who offered his
son to G-d as a sacrifice?
13. What kind of bird returned to Noah and
the ark with an olive branch in its beak?
14. Who was the firstborn son of Adam and
15. Where did Moses receive the Ten
see SHABBAT LADY, p.22
who went before us so we
could celebrate today.
The juxtaposition of
mourning and celebration
gives us a very powerful les-
son: We owe a tremendous
amount to those who made it
possible for us to be here to-
day, and we must honor their
deeds by living our lives and
enjoying our many blessings.
Our celebration is both tem-
pered and enhanced by the
sadness we feel for the loss
of those who laid down their
lives for our benefit.
Next month we will cel-
ebrate our own Memorial
Day in the United States; we
will remember all those who
have fallen in our nation's
wars. On that day we will sol-
emnly commemorate those
who served our country, rec-
ognizing that their sacrifices
are the sole reason we are
here today to celebrate. May
the memories of those who
gave their lives for the United
States and Israel always be
Rabbi Jeremy Yoskowitz is the campus
rabbi (Rav Bet Sefer) at the Ann and
Nate Levine Academy in Dallas. He is
writing columns for the TJP throughout
April as part of a joint project between
the TJP and the Rabbinic Association of
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Wisch, Rene. Texas Jewish Post (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 64, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 22, 2010, newspaper, April 22, 2010; Fort Worth, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth188289/m1/19/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .