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Haredim Deserve a Secular Yom Ha’atzmaut

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One of the big differences between Israel’s and America’s Jewish communities is the ability of the Haredi to celebrate national holidays. From July 4th to Memorial Day, even the most Hasidic communities can be seen partaking in some kind of celebration or acknowledgment. This is not only true in the US; ultra-Orthodox Jews in Australia, the UK, Canada, and elsewhere often partake in national holidays. And yet, when it comes to Israel’s Day of Independence, where there is so much for all Jews to be thankful for, the Haredi in Israel finds it so difficult to show patriotic sentiments in Israel — despite doing so in other countries.

The issue of celebrating on Yom Ha’atzmaut is not a petty conversation on who will have a barbecue, wave a flag, or sing a song. As the Haredi community in Israel and around the world becomes an increasingly larger percentage of the Jewish community, identifying with Israel and the unity of the Jewish people become vital. There must be a way to find common ground for Israeli patriotism and Israel’s national narrative. While there are many difficult aspects around Haredi integration, there is one simple, inclusive, and easy to implement solution — Yom Ha’atzmaut does not have to be a religious holiday. Haredim deserve a secular Yom Ha’atzmaut.

On the occasions I have visited Israel during Yom Ha’atzmaut I truly celebrate. How can I not?! A Jewish state for the Jewish people in the Jewish........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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