4 Iyar 5778
19 April 2018
HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY TO THE STATE OF ISRAEL!!!
The News on the Israeli Street
The Israel street is humming with activity early this morning (your humble servant is writing this at 6 am Israel time).
During the night, large groups of families and friends have come into the large park next to our house, roped off sections for themselves, brought in tables and chairs, and set up their barbecues for a wonderful Israel Independence Day celebration.
But the celebration began last night just after 8 pm when Yom Hazikaron came to an end. Standing on top of an apartment building in Nes Ziona, we watched as fireworks displays went off all around us: in Nes Ziona itself, Rishon LeZion, Be’er Yaakov, Yavne, and Rehovot.
All of them were spectacular.
As was the Independence Day ceremony in Jerusalem. Twelve people were chosen to light torches signaling the start of Independence Day.
To your humble servant, the most remarkable had to be Margalit Zinati from Pekin. I’ve been to her house several times and visited the remarkable synagogue next door.
In case you missed my blogs about those experiences, here are links to two of them: A Journey Back in Time To The Second Temple and The Musta’arib Jews Who Have Lived In the Land Of Israel For More Than 3300 Years.
What is remarkable is that Margalit is the last surviving member of her family–which has lived continuously in Pekin since the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
Margalit’s ancestors were priests of the that Temple, and when the Romans destroyed it, they fled north and founded the hidden community of Pekin. The tiny synagogue there which I alluded to above actually contains stones from the Second Temple that her ancestors brought with them during their escape.
In any case, the remarkable 87-year-old Margalit never married, so her line will sadly end with her death.
But last night it was a joyous Margalit Zinati who lit one of the torches in Jerusalem.
Today’s blog is just a few pictures from the last few days for you to get a sense of the joy and pride that is bursting forth here in Israel.
To begin with virtually every car is adorned with Israeli flags:
And of course there are flags on every house and apartment building:
And Israeli flags on every lightpole in every city:
And flags in every conceivable location–even in our local supermarket’s meat section:
Some fireworks last night over Nes Ziona:
People camping on the beach in front of our house this morning after celebrations last night:
People gorging themselves on bbq in the park beside our house this afternoon (today’s blog is a work in progress!):
We could show more pictures, but you get the idea. It has been a wonderful day with family and friends. Israel’s 70th modern birthday has been a day to remember!
And the day is not over yet!!