By Shmuel Sackett
I could write a 20-chapter book on why we need to thank Hashem for the State of Israel, but allow me to say it all in the following few sentences: For 2,000 years we cried and begged for a chance to go home. We prayed that we would one day return to the land and be worthy to settle it, farm it, and build homes there. Today, it exists. Jewish life has returned to Israel and prophecies are being fulfilled! The new/old Jewish homeland had produced the smell of redemption, the sweetness of deliverance, and the resurrection of the nation of Israel!
We know that one day we will all be there. Whether it will be in ten years or on the next Nefesh B’Nefesh flight, it is part of our Jewish national compass. We are all in the process of heading home and b’ezrat Hashem, we will get there as soon as we can.
What do we do in the meantime? How do we impress upon our children that Israel is one of the most important things in our life? There are many answers to that question but let me focus on one, which is coming in just a few days from now: Celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut. This year, the 66th birthday of the modern State of Israel will start on Monday night. Unfortunately, very few places around this area do anything significant for this amazing day. Some shuls offer programs–and kol ha’kavod to them–but most ignore the day completely. Based on that, I decided to do something pro-active and organize the biggest and most exciting Yom HaAtzmaut gala in the history of NY/NJ . . . and you are invited to attend!
This event will be one that is based on kedushah and simcha. The evening will begin with the same Maariv that is davened in Israel. It is called “tefillah chagigit” and will have special tefillot for this wonderful day. Ira Heller will lead this davening and will also sing the beautiful prayer “Avinu She’bashamayim,” which we hear sung in Israel all the time. After that, there will be a fantastic program, which will include a keynote address from the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, MK Moshe Feiglin. We also have a guest speaker who used to be a fighter pilot in Israel’s air force. His name is Dr. Shlomo Kalish and he will share his incredible stories of in-air battles against Egyptian and Syrian planes. When is the last time you heard stories like that? Finally, there will be a full concert by the energetic Yehuda Green who will get you off your seat and on to the dance floor! Before the evening ends we will have a raffle for trips to Israel, and then Main Event Caterers and Terrace on the Park will end this party with the most amazing Viennese table ever!
Here is my simple suggestion: If you can find a better way to spend the night of Yom HaAtzmaut, then do so, but if not–come to Terrace on the Park on Monday night at 8:00 p.m. and join us in thanking Hashem for the wonderful gift He gave us. Important: Because of tight security at this event, all tickets must be purchased in advance! There will be no tickets sold at the door. Reserve your spot online at www.CelebrateWithIsrael.com.
Once again, you must reserve in advance and since space is limited, please do so as quickly as possible. When you come, make sure to introduce yourself to me. I will be the MC of the evening and anyone who mentions the name of this newspaper to me will receive a free raffle entry for a round-trip ticket to Israel. How’s that? See you Monday night! v