Beyond the Classroom
Yom Ha'zikaron/Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration
A message from Dr. Levisohn...
Today, Israel turns 70. בן שבעים שנה לשיבה, says Pirkei Avot: 70 years is the age of maturity (or so I am translating the term). Israel is no longer in its infancy, no longer in its adolescence, no longer a new country with an inchoate identity.
The prophet Jeremiah predicted that the exiles to Babylonia would return to Israel 70 years after the First Temple was destroyed. Seventy years was not just a random number…it is a time at once long into the future and yet near enough that it can be imagined, even in one’s own lifetime.
Looking back, 70 years since the founding of the State of Israel means that there are some among us who remember the events leading to that miraculous moment… and many of us for whom that is quite a distant past.
As Jeremiah and Pirkei Avot point out, the 70th year represents a turning point for Israel. It is a time when we can celebrate so much about the founding of the state and also celebrate both its present and its future. It also marks a moment when we need to recognize, as educators, as parents, and even as ourselves, that building and maintaining our bond to Israel takes work and cannot be taken for granted.
That’s one of the things that makes Yom Ha'Atzmaut so special at Berman. We take kids as young as two and create a connection to Israel that you rarely see among young Jews. Through our teaching and our Torah Mitzion Kollel, we consciously build those bonds so that our children will continue to have the kind of love and affinity for Israel that the founding generation had. As a school and as a community, we must never take these sentiments for granted and we must continue to invest in the precious relationship between the State of Israel and its people.
Thank you for celebrating Yom Ha'Atzmaut with the Berman community.
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