Entries tagged with “Israel Memorial Day”.

As the Memorial Day draws to its end and Israel enters the celebrations of Independence Day, the national anthem ‘Hatikvah’ (The Hope) marks as each year the moment of passage. I do not hide, it may be the song I love most of all songs on Earth. As last year, and maybe starting some kind of a tradition of mine, I was looking for special or funny versions of the song to post on my blog, when a discussion started on a virtual list by Andre – one of these friends that I owe the Internet having known them – drew my attention.

source http://www.ortav.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=397

Andre was referring to the weekly show ‘Mekablim Shabat’ (Welcoming Sabbath) which is presented by anchor Dov Elboim each Friday evening on Channel One of Israeli TV. This show which usually invites each week a different guest from various fields of religious, social, cultural life to discuss the weekly Torah portion, was dedicated this week to the national day, and had as guest Astrid Balzan, Ph.D. who wrote a book about the national anthem, a book whose title translates ‘HaTikvah – Past, Present and Future’.  I did not read the book (yet) but it seems like interesting reading. Dr. Balzan’s theory is that the melody, whose origin is usually traced back to the La Mantovana, a 17th-century Italian song, originally written by Giuseppino del Biado ca. 1600 with the text “Fuggi, fuggi, fuggi dal questo cielo” to enter the folklore of Eastern Europe and be later used by Smetana in his symphonic poem celebrating Bohemia, “Má vlast,” as “Vltava” (Die Moldau) and by Samuel Cohen for “HaTikvah” (source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatikvah) actually originates in a melody used in prayers by Spanish Jews as early as the 14th century. The prayer is named ‘Birkhat hatal’ name that translates as ‘Blessing of the Dew’ which sounds quite poetic.

Some details about dr. Balzan’s book can be found at http://www.ortav.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=397 and Dov Elboim’s show can be seen in the next few days at http://www.iba.org.il/media/?recorded=1 (in Hebrew).

(video source AntinouslsGod1)

Whatever the past was HaTikvah is still generating new versions and discoveries of older recordings, each with its own story. Here are two for this year’s anniversary. The first was sang in 1950 by Al Jolson. Born Asa Yoelson in what is today Lithuania, Jolson became in the 20s and 30s one of the top entertainers in the United States. He was not only a great comedian and musician, but also what we call today an engaged artist, fighting prejudice and racial discrimination, promoting jazz and African-American music and the African-American artists to the white audiences. He will of course be always remembered by many people for having played (with black make-up) and sang in 1927 in the first sound movie picture in history “The Jazz Singer”. This recording of HaTikvah may be one of his last, made in 1950, the year of his sudden death.

(video source stavc16)

Here is another version of HaTikvah, a very recent one. It’s a short excerpt of the much publicized concert that teenage star Justin Bieber gave in Tel Aviv less than one month ago. The performer is Dan Kanter – the guitarist playing with Justin Bieber, considered to be the man behind his music.

The anthem is alive. Israel and its people are alive.

Happy Birthday, Israel!

source http://www.aisrael.org/

This evening at 8PM Memorial Day begins in Israel. In what is one of the many unique characteristics of this unique country Memorial Day always precedes Independence Day. We cannot celebrate before we remember the heroes that had fallen for the Jewish people to have a country and the victims of terror attacks who died only because they were Jews who wanted to live in their country.

(video source rigokmachor)

Thanks to a friend whom I never met in person yet – Angela Furtuna – here is a beautiful song inspired by a prayer, a song dedicated to the young men and women who are taking the supreme risks in defending our country with the arms in their hands.

(video source nocommenttv)

Here are a few filmed sequences from another moment unique for Israel – the two minutes when the whole nation stands in honor for the memory of the fallen ones. It will happen again tomorrow at 11 in the morning. I am certain that my thoughts and my wishes will be the same as of any other Israelis – may the fallen heroes and victims of terror we are honoring be the last in the circle of hate and violence!

Tonight, at 8PM starts the Israel Memorial Day – the day that commemorates the Israeli soldiers fallen in the wars and military actions in the defense of Israel, and the victims of the terror attacks against Israel and Israelis. For the people of Israel and for their friends.it’s a day of reflection and a day of remembrance


(video source lvisser87)

It is the day when all that divides us should be put apart. We, Israelis, may differ in customs and place of birth, in the ways we pray or the ways we honor the tradition of our people, in the ways of life and in our political opinions – tonight and tomorrow we are united in the respect we pay to those who have made the supreme sacrifice so that we can live free in our country.

(video source adm613)

The clips below show some aspects of the ceremonies that take place each year in Jerusalem on Memorial Day. The opening ceremony takes place at the Western Wall, the last remain of the Temple that once stood in the center of the Jewish capital. The next morning cemeteries in the whole country fill in with the relatives and comrades of the fallen soldiers with the central ceremony taking place in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl.

(video source ionisraelMedia)

(video source ionisraelMedia)

At 11AM on Memorial Day the sirens in the whole country sound for two minutes. All traffic and all activities stop, and the whole nation stands in silence, in respect for the fallen.

(video source EverywhereTrip)

Then, at evening, the closing ceremony marks the end of Memorial Day and the of the festivities of the Israel Independence Day. This is life in Israel – sorrow and joy coming together, mourning is followed by the celebration of national freedom.