Yom Ha’atzmaut, Independence Day, in Israel is always preceded by Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers. The message of linking these two days is clear: Israelis owe their independence–the very existence of the state–to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.
The official “switch” from Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut takes place a few minutes after sundown, with a ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem in which the flag is raised from half staff (due to Memorial Day) to the top of the pole.
In celebration of Yom Ha’aztmaut, check it this awesome music video from the Fountainheads about Hatikva (Hope, and the name of Israel’s nation anthem):
Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohenu Melech ha-olam asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav vitzivanu al s’firat ha’omer.
Blessed are You, Eternal our God, Ruler of the universe, who makes us holy with sacred actions and enjoins us to count the omer.
Hayom esrim v’achat yom, shehem s’losha shavuot la-omer.
Today is 21 days which are three weeks of the Omer.
Wishing you a meaningful omer– Your RS Clergy