Archive photo
Archive photoWestern Wall Heritage Foundation

Leading Religious Zionist rabbis have published a joint call on the public to rejoice on Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, and to thank G-d for the miracles to send a clear message to Israel's enemies who aim to prevent the Jewish people from rejoicing.

The letter opens with a mention of the bereaved families and the hostages: "All of our hearts are with the many families who are hurting for the loss of their-our loved ones and the families who are terrified for the fate of their-our loved ones who are imprisoned by the talons of evil. Not one of us doubts that joy is difficult for them and us."

On the other hand "preventing joy and stopping it can help our enemies reach their goal - weakening our existence and dwarfing the miracles of miracles that were done for us for over 70 years," the rabbis explained.

The rabbis, including Rabbi Dov Lior and Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, added that "Judaism forever knew how to combine sorrow with joy when needed, for instance (the custom of) placing ashes on the head of the groom and remembering Jerusalem during our joyous events. The State of Israel as well, for decades, has known how to go from the mourning of Memorial Day to the joy of Yom Haatzmaut."

Later in the letter, the rabbis call on the public: "Therefore we must continue the great joy which gives strength to our soldiers and all of our people - to continue in great dedication to defend our nation.

"Yeshivas and synagogues should continue reciting prayers of thanks, singing, and dancing, for our brothers who sacrificed themselves for our nation and land. Of course, it is appropriate to avoid frivolity and debauchery, as every year and to celebrate with a feeling of 'rejoice with trembling.' We will all continue with every effort to ensure unity and our dear tradition, which our enemies are attempting to desecrate by harming the holidays of Israel," the rabbis concluded.