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Study and Theory/
Independence Day

Joseph Klausner

Independence Day to Independence Holiday

There is no argument about the fact that Independence Day, the fifth day of Iyar, is a day of commemoration for one of the greatest events that happened in Israel during the last two thousand years: On this day the State of Israel was established ...

But this awesome day deserves more than that: Independence Day should turn into Independence Holiday.

... Throughout three hundred and sixty-four days of the year, we engage in criticism. We criticize the state orders and the heads of state. We count the many mistakes our leaders and our ministers have made. We accumulate and stack up piles and piles of defects, which we see and feel in every corner we turn to in our young state ...

But one day a year the nation in its country must have a true holiday. In this very day, all disapprovals must be silenced, and all harsh criticism must come to a stop. Of course, this day must also be a day dedicated to self-searching, but the calculations must differ: they should consist of what has been achieved, of what has changed for the better in general and of what has been particularly advanced and improved in the past year. On this single day a year, Independence Day, we must present the people with an account of the big and small strides that the State has taken towards implementing goals of expansion, progress and transcendence envisioned for the nation throughout the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year.

... Not everything is inferior and decadent. There are also many soft seedlings capable of growing into huge vines.

Hence the demand that Independence Day be turned into Independence Holiday. A holiday, in which we shall take account not only of what we are missing but also for what we have achieved....

Independence Day should turn into a day of consolation and inspiration – to the Independence Holiday. As such, Israel shall be encouraged to appreciate the event of the political and spiritual renaissance in all its greatness and glory. By this, joy shall be restored to our homes and the entire nation shall appreciate with its entire soul, the wonderful text of one of the hymns of praise:

 "This is the day that the Lord has made - we shall rejoice and exult in Him."

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