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Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center

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Shabbat Shemini 5778

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We are in the midst of what Rabbi Donniel Hartman calls “the High Holy Days of the State of Israel.” This is the Shabbat that conencts Yom HaShoah veHagevurah, which we just finished observing, to Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha-atzmaut, which are observed and celebrated next week. It’s an emotional rollercoaster for Israelis in particular, and for many Jews around the world. We commemorate the enormity of the trauma of the Shoah, while honoring the heroism of the resistance against evil. Then, less than a week later, we remember all those who fell in defense of the Jewish State from its inception until today, seventy years later. And in the ultimate mood swing, Israelis shift from grief to joy, especially on this milestone 70th anniversary of independence.
 
At the AIPAC policy conference last month, Yossi Klein Halevi said that Israel willed itself into existence through song. So for this bridge Shabbat, I want to share two video clips that demonstrate the power of song. As you watch the videos, think about the stories they tell, taking into consideration both who is singing and what is being sung.
 
Click here to see how Israelis react to Yom HaShoah.
 
Click here for a vision of what Israel might become through song. 
 
On Shabbat morning, we’ll look at the words of both songs, and consider what initiatives such as the one you’ll see in the video clips can do for the future of the Jewish People.
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi David Wise