Happy Israel Independence Day! Check out this slide show over at Elder of Ziyon.
We watched the Yom Haatzmaut celebration on line. Each year, twelve people are chosen to light torches that represent the twelve tribes. The theme this year was mutual aid.
Three unusual things happened.
- The father of Rivka Holtzman, who was murdered by terrorists in Mumbai along with her husband, lit one of the torches. He and his wife are caring for their orphaned grandson, Moishe, who was in the audience. Rabbi Rosenberg, head of the Chabad House in Afula, expressed his wish that the Rebbe-Mashiach would soon arrive.
- During the impressive singing and dancing at the end—I’m going out of order here—one of the singers fell flat on her behind. They switched to a view from a different camera but after a few seconds you couldn’t tell that anything had happened. I’m sure it hurt.
- While the torches were being lit, the brother of captured soldier Gilad Shalit managed to get in front of the crowd, with his girlfriend, holding signs urging the government to do more to get Gilad released. The cameras did not show what happened until afterward, but the announcer on Channel 10 described it over the sound of the ceremony. My first thought was that the protest was unfair to the people being honored at the ceremony. My second thought was that the protest was effective, in that the message came through that while the nation is celebrating, Gilad and his family are suffering. My third thought was that our government isn’t the one holding him. Putting more pressure on the Israeli government means asking it to make more concessions. The pressure should be placed where it belongs: on Hamas and its enablers.