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70 years!!!!! Israel celebrates Yom Ha’atzmaut, the anniversary of its independence,
this week on Thursday. First, though, on the day before, Wednesday, it pays tribute to all it’s fallen soldiers on Yom Hazikaron, a day of remembrance. It is a stark and moving reminder of the lives lost in creation and defense of this small state surrounded by enemies, often intent on its destruction. It is said that everyone in Israel has lost a family member, or knows someone who has lost a family member, in defense of our Jewish homeland.

This week, as tears of sadness give rise to tears of joy, we are reminded of the words in Psalm 126: “Those who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy.” Many of us in the diaspora haven’t suffered the way many Israeli families have. Yet, when we celebrate the State of Israel, we also pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price on behalf of every Jew. Zichronam liv’rachah, may their memories continue to be for blessing.

B’shalom,
Rabbi Bellush