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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Yom Aliyah – you didn’t miss it!

image Where were you on April 10th, and what were you doing??  If you were in Israel, you should have been celebrating a national holiday… but you probably didn’t. 

That day, a Thursday four days before Pesach, might have been the first ever “Yom HaAliyah” (or Yom Aliyah), if a Knesset bill introduced several weeks earlier had been able to pass in time before the spring recess of the government. 

They’ll come back from vacation in June, hopefully,  in time to vote the holiday in for next year.  The date will actually be the 10th of Nissan, not April; the two just happened to coincide this year.

So how should we celebrate Yom Aliyah when it finally does come around??? 

  • Sewing a quilt out of all our national flags, stitched together? 
  • Crafting a giant collage of plane and steamship tickets from the past 100 years? 
  • Dressing up in our historic national costume (fun if you’re from the Ukraine; confusing if you’re from Canada and everybody wants you to show up in a Mountie uniform). 
  • Sticking pins on a map to show where we’re all from… then burning the map, to show that we’re all Israelis now?  (we Israelis sure do love to burn stuff!)

image

(this is Banff – I used to live an hour away!)

The cynic in me says we don’t NEED a Yom Aliyah, because we’re almost all olim, if you go back a generation or two or three.  And also, shouldn’t we have a “Yom Vatikim” for all those Israelis who aren’t olim, like the ones who stayed here alongside the Ottomans and British during the hundreds of years when it was difficult and dangerous for Jews to live here?  And maybe four days before Pesach isn’t the best time for a party?

But in this case, I say “tough noogies” to my inner cynic.  I’m an olah, and I need all the celebration I can get.

So how do you think we should party when the 10th of Nissan rolls around next year…?

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