Rabbi's Weekly Message

A Message from Rabbi Wexler ~ Thursday, April 19

70 years. It has been 70 years since Israel declared its independence. 70 years, a lifetime of growth and development, yet in the course of history, it represents mere infancy. Today is Yom Ha’atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day. Today is Israel’s 70th birthday. Today is a day in which we joyously recite Hallel (Psalms of praise) and Al HaNissim, a prayer celebrating the miracles in our lives. The State of Israel is a blessing and certainly one of those miracles which is to be celebrated every day, but especially today.

To help us celebrate, I would like to share with you another video by the Israeli group Koolulam. In last week’s message, Rabbi Peltz shared a music video Koolulam made in honor of Yom HaShoah, and this week they were at it again. In honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary, President Reuven Rivlin, together with singer Shlomi Shabat, and the social-music initiative Koolulam, hosted an event at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. Together, the 12,000 attendees practiced and recorded Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh” (Over All of These) to create this memorable video. The song talks about accepting the bitter with the sweet – the sting with the honey – and asks God for protection over what the Jewish people have built in the land of Israel – “over all these things.”

I invite everyone to take a few minutes to watch this moving video. It captures the passion and the love of thousands of Israelis, young and old alike, who came together from all over the country to celebrate their beloved homeland, our beloved homeland, and to sing alongside Shabat and the Jerusalem Street Orchestra.

In his invitation for the event, President Rivlin said that “song is something that brings people together.” He declared: “Let’s sing together... Religious, secular, Arabs, Jews, soldiers, women, men, children... let’s put aside everything that divides us and do together what connects us and brings us together.”

Music brings people together; and that is exactly what is going to happen tonight at TBS as we celebrate Israel’s 70th with Shul of Rock featuring Cantor Cohen. We hope everyone will join us for what promises to be an incredible evening of music and celebrating Israel. As President Rivlin said: “let’s sing together!”