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 Holiday Central > Yom Ha'atzmaut >
Yom Ha-Atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day

Every year since 1948, Israel celebrates its independence on the fifth day of Iyar, which is the formal Hebrew Calendar date of the establishment of the State, when the young country's "provisional government" read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv. The secular date of that monumental day was May 14, 1948.

In Israel Yom Ha'atzmaut is a national holiday. Government offices, banks, educational institutions, and most commercial establishments are closed for the day. In the synagogues Yom Ha'atzmaut is marked with the recital of the Hallel prayer (Palms of Praise), and around the country the Israeli government and local municipalities conduct official ceremonies. Israelis celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut in a variety of ways, with parades, nighttime festivities and public shows offered for free by the municipalities and the government. Many spend the night dancing Israeli folk dances or singing Israeli songs, and during the daytime thousands of Israeli families go out on hikes and picnics. Yom Ha'atzmaut is concluded with the ceremony of granting the "Israel Prize" recognizing individual Israelis for their unique contribution to the country's culture, science, arts, and the humanities.

For American and other Diaspora Jews, celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut has been a way to express solidarity with the State of Israel and to strengthen their alliance with it. Often, however, celebrations are postponed to the Sunday following Yom Ha'atzmaut in an effort to bolster participation.

 

Mazor Guide to Yom Haatzmaut brings you much more about the holiday, its meaning and its traditions... See the links below.

MazorGuide Recommended Reading

Letters from Jerusalem 1947-1948 (Paperback)
~ by Zipporah Porath

Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine (Paperback)
~ by Samuel Katz

 

 
     
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