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Twelve Ways to Celebrate
My Point of View--Apr 20, 2002
© Rabbi Jack Moline

Here are a dozen ways to celebrate Israel’s independence. In addition to concerts and programs and the display of symbols, taking tangible steps to help Israel in this time of challenge is an important way to help assure that next Yom Ha’atzma’ut is a time of peace and security.

  1. Write letters of encouragement to the President, Senators and Representatives – and even state and local officials – who have been supportive of Israel. Write letters of objection to those whose support for Israel has been less than adequate. Letters should be personal and to the point, signed with respect and a valid address. The goal is not to pander or berate, but to praise or persuade.

  2. Read the newspaper and watch television, including local news, with a special eye for reporting on Israel and the Middle East. When someone has done a good job, write or call with praise. When someone has done a poor job, carefully communicate your objections.

  3. Shop for Israeli products. They are everywhere if you just look for them.

  4. Support Israeli emergency medical services. Magen David Adom fulfills the function of the Red Cross in Israel. Hadassah Hospital and the many other hospitals and emergency centers in Israel need your support.

  5. Call friends in Israel just to talk with them. Invest ten dollars in a phone card and you can probably talk for an hour. Ask them about school, about work. Tell them you miss them. Promise you will visit.

  6. Make plans to go to Israel. Put the money away. Buy a couple of Israel bonds. Send for the brochures. If you can go now, go now, on a solidarity mission or a quick trip or to stay in a hotel in Eilat or Tz’fat.

  7. Talk to friends and neighbors, particularly those who are not Jewish. Send them articles that are short and to the point. Engage them on the issue and about how important it is to you. Make it clear that there is no alternative for the Jews in Israel or in the world other than a secure Jewish nation in Israel.

  8. Show up to rallies, demonstrations and conferences.

  9. Keep yourself informed from many perspectives. Educate yourself with information and about disinformation. Remember: web sites are free.

  10. Contribute to the emergency campaign of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington/United Jewish Communities. Information is available at 301-230-7200.

  11. Do not neglect the internal health of Israel and the Jewish people. Contributions to the Foundation for Masorti Judaism will keep the necessary focus on matters of spiritual and religious pluralism within our people.

  12. Pray. Prayer serves to reinforce our values, our connection with God and the strength we need to do what is right, even when what is right isn’t always comfortable.

Make this Yom Ha’atzma’ut a time of commitment and concern so that next year can be a time of joy and gladness.

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