Friday, May 06, 2011

How Do You Celebrate Israeli Independence Day?

When I first got into the world of Zionism in the mid-late 1960's, a celebration of Israel and Zionism was "cultural," music and dance.  If there was any special food, it would have been felafel, but I don't remember food as being a central aspect of the Yom Ha'Atzma'ut holiday.

We danced Israeli Folk Dances and sang Israeli Folk Songs.

In our early years in Israel, when we lived in Bayit v'Gan, Jerusalem, we could see the fireworks display at Mount Herzl from our building.  An Israeli tradition at outdoor celebrations that bridge Memorial Day to Independence Day is to have impressive fireworks light the sky.

I don't remember doing much on the actual day of Israeli Independence Day.  On the Eve of Indpendence Day, as long as we're home in Shiloh, we go to the Mishkan Tabernacle Synagogue for the fantastic Holiday Prayers.

The Israeli custom is to eat, have cookouts all over the place and barbeque lots of meat which is eaten with salads and pittot.

Yesterday the Rami Levi chain had a special on many of the traditoinal Yom Ha'Atzma'ut foods, chumus, cucumbers, tomatoes, kabobs etc.  That was his (yes there's a Rami Levi who owns/runs the chain) way of celebrating with his customers.

For quite a number of years we've been going to my cousin's house for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut where they provide a very Israeli and extremely delicious meal.

And what do you do wherever you live?

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