Monday, April 19, 2010

Hometown Independence Day

Israel's 62nd Independence Day began in my hometown, and towns all over Israel, with Independence Night!
Hundreds of families from all over Efrat's seven hills gathered on the slope of Park Asor (that's our tenth anniversary park) to participate in our community ceremony. There were blankets covering the hill like the most colorful patchwork quilt and families sat together sharing cotton candy and pop corn.
Efrat's little kids sang and danced. Our teens marched with flags. Our adults sang classic Israeli songs. And we honored neighborhood folks who made our town a better place.
My brother-in-law, who is visiting from America with my sister, noted that 40,000 people would be celebrating Yom HaAtzmaut in Rabin Square, but five minutes after he and my sister sat down on their blanket and began chatting with Efrat's friendly folks, he and my sister were glad they had chosen to participate with us.
My friend Debbie pointed to the thousands of adults and kids in the park and told my sister, "These are our people." My sister agreed and loved the ceremony and the community pride that was displayed throughout the evening.
After the hour-long ceremony, and the singing of Ani Maamin and Hatikvah, the skies lit up with the most amazing fireworks. Everyone screamed with exhilaration at every golden and red blast. Local Jewish teen bands rocked into the night and everyone cheered.
A perfect night. Thank you Hashem for blessing our country, our people and our town.
Chag ha'atzmaut sameach.
You can get a glimpse of Efrat's Independence Day celebration here. Our terrific teens called out to the world, AM YISRAEL CHAI.

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