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Rabbi’s Blog: OZ: Yom HaZikaron & Ha'Atzmaut + Scholar in Residence

05/13/2024 01:09:15 PM


Dear OZ family,


The State of Israel makes a highly emotional transition from its saddest day, Yom Hazikaron, today, to its happiest day, Yom Ha’atzmaut, which will be celebrated tomorrow.


Our West Side community event will be at the Jewish Center today, and begins with Mincha at 6:45 pm (see flyers below). This year’s commemoration is especially emotional given the events of Oct. 7 and on. Since that fateful day, Israel has lost the per-capita equivalence of twice the amount of soldiers America lost in all the years of the Vietnam War. These events have shaken the Jewish world to its core. We have faced similar threats throughout our long history and we are still here commemorating a Day of Remembrance.


We also invite you to join us this coming Shabbat as we welcome Rabbi Dudi Winkler of Lev LeChayal, and organization supporting lone soldiers in Israel - 24/7 since Oct. 7: Rabbi Winkler will give the drasha in the main shul, a shiur before Mincha, a talk at Seudah Shlishit, and to join us for a community luncheon please rsvp at


Our sages say that when Jerusalem was saved from the Assyrian onslaught in 701 BCE, our eternal salvation was at hand. Sancheriv, king of Assyria was slated to be Gog U’magog, and Chizkiyahu, Moshiach, but the opportunity was lost! The loss was precipitated, the Gemara says, by a failure on part of the king and his people to show gratitude and sing praises for the salvation they all saw. Even with all the tragic stories, names of soldiers we keep reading so many Friday nights, and phenomenal loss, there are also so many inspirational stories of heroism, and great personal sacrifice. I am including a book of such stories that can be downloaded, for inspirational reading for Yom Hazikaron - click HERE. And let us not be similarly lacking in our own expressions of gratitude, praise, and song in celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut tomorrow.


May we all see quick Yeshuos and Nechamos.

Stay well and healthy

Rabbi Allen Schwartz  




Wed, July 24 2024 18 Tammuz 5784