Israel's Independence Day - May 6th

In Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel, which happened "in one day." Eleven minutes after the UN declared Israel as an official state,  the United States congratulated Israel!

Israeli's Independence Day (Yom Ha'Atzmaut in Hebrew) is celebrated on the 5th day of Iyar on the Hebrew calendar. The corresponding Gregorian date was May 14, 1948. On this day, David Ben-Gurion publicly read the Israeli Declaration of Independence. 

Yom Ha-Atzmaut begins around 8 PM the preceding evening (May 5th) with an official opening on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl, which is broadcast live on television. The ceremony includes a speech by the speaker of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), artistic performances, and the ceremonial lighting of twelve torches, one for each of the Tribes of Israel.

The Torch lighters are Israeli citizens who made a significant social contribution to a specific area.

Many cities hold outdoor performances in its squares, featuring leading Israeli singers and fireworks displays. In order to allow people to sing and dance, many streets and squares are closed to cars.

The following day, a flyover of combat planes and IDF (Israeli Defense Force) helicopters start off the main activities of Independence Day. The president, IDF  chief of staff, Prime Minister and Defense minister sing their favorite Independence Day songs with the IDF band and singers.

 Israeli soldiers take a break

 Israeli soldiers take a break

Later that day, Israel's President honors 120 excellent IDF soldiers at his official residence in Jerusalem.

All over the country, Israeli families flock to the parks to have picnics and barbecues. Balconies and buildings are decorated with Israeli flags and small flags are attached to car windows.

Portions of this article were used with permission. To purchase the book, visit www.Lulu.com for "Remember, Observe, Rejoice" by Petra van der Zande.