This year, Carmel opened its doors for all Jewish students in Perth to join in the 70th year Yom Haatzmaut celebrations.

Nearly 30 students from outside of Carmel signed up to dance, sing and joyously celebrate with our School community on this auspicious day. The oval was transformed into an Israel wonderland with dozens of fun and stimulating stations for students to engage in; mosaics, sand art, Israeli soccer to name a few.

We thank our Jewish studies team.

The significance and importance of this time, that we have the ‘zchut’ – the merit to see Israel as a flourishing 70 year young country is truly humbling.

I feel overwhelmed and somewhat unqualified to write of the significance of this day and so I turn to the words of one of the greatest Prime Ministers of Israel, Menachem Begin for his words. Begin was man of distinction, of integrity, who brokered peace with Egypt and who lead our people, our country with moral courage and fortitude.

When the State was established Begin and Ben Gurion had different views on many things. But on these words that Begin spoke that day,  they agreed:

“Within our homeland, justice shall be the supreme ruler, the ruler over all our rulers. There must be no tyranny. Ministers and officials of government must be the servants of the nation, not their masters.   There must be no exploitation. There must be no man – be he citizen or foreigner – who will go hungry. ‘Remember that you were strangers in the land of Egypt’ says our Book of Books. This supreme axiom must continually illuminate our path in our relations with the stranger within our gates. ‘Righteousness, righteousness shall you pursue’ says our Bible and this must be the guiding principle in our relationships with each other’.

For all of Israel’s achievements in medicine, technology, agriculture, it is Israel’s moral standing that makes it a light unto the nations. And while Israel’s record is not perfect, we challenge the critics of Israel to name a single country in the history of the world faced with internal and external threats comparable to those faced by Israel that has ever had a better record in human rights; a better record with compliance of the rule of law; a better record of concern for civilians. One cannot be found.

And for this, we salute the IDF. The IDF has a tradition of humanity, fighting a foe that knows no humanity. Ours is a Jewish army defending a cause that is moral and just. We give our heartfelt gratitude to our soldiers who through their protection of Israel’s borders, protect the safety and security of Jews everywhere.

One idea for the national anthem of Israel was to sing the psalm that we say every Shabbat before Birkat Hamazon. Oh how the words of King David ring true in 2018, 70 years after the birth of the State of Israel.

When G-d returned the captives of Zion, we were like dreamers. Then was our mouth filled with laughter,​ and our tongue with joyful song: then they said among the nations, G-d has done great things for them. G-d has done great things for us; so we rejoiced!​ G-d, Bring back our captives,​ like springs in the desert. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. Those who walk weeping and carrying the measure of seeds, will come back in joy, carrying sheaves. 

The Chalutzim of Israel, sowed the seeds, and we are the lucky generation who are reaping with joy.

May the joy and beauty of Israel shine a light on us and on the world in strength and with love.

 

Happy Birthday Israel, Mazal Tov!

Please visit our Facebook page for all the photos from the day.