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  • Writer's pictureRabbi David Paskin

Yom HaAliyah

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From Rabbi David

This Saturday is known as Yom HaAliyah. Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) (יום העליה) is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan to commemorate the Jewish people entering the Land of Israel as written in the Hebrew Bible. The holiday was established to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and honor the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society.


If you have been watching what's been going on in Israel in the past month with the suggested judicial reforms and the protests in the street - it's pretty amazing to see democracy in action. Thankfully there has been almost zero violence and zero looting in the protests. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are taking to the streets to protest peacefully for the state and land they love.


I am so proud that my daughter, Ayelet, made aliyah last December and is now an Israeli citizen. I am proud that she is there to witness her fellow Israelis stand up for what they believe in and even more proud that she can contribute to this movement as an oleh (an immigrant to Israel).


The Hebrew word aliyah doesn't just mean "immigrant". “Aliyah” literally means ascent or rise. It's the same word we use when we go up on the bimah, approach the Torah, and offer a blessing before and after it is read. When Ayelet made aliyah to Israel, she didn't just change her address - she ascended to our holy homeland.


Imagining Israel as being on a higher plane to which we ascend doesn't mean that Israel is perfect. In fact, it may draw our attention to more flaws than perfections. It means that we must hold her to a higher standard. Seeing my daughter and my Israeli brothers and sisters do just that is nothing short of inspiring!

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