Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel) History
Yom Haazmaut (Hebrew: יום העצמאות)is Israel's Independence Day. Israel declared independence on May 14th, 1948. This was only a few hours before the British Mandate of Palestine was to draw to an end.
Yom Haazmaut is a public holiday in Israel. All commercial establishments are closed, apart from Restaurants, Cafes and Bars. Israelis celebrate Yom Haazmaut with an opening ceremony, comprising lighting of the Masuot (twelve torches, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel). The honor of lighting each torch is given to outstanding Israelis, such as brave soldiers and policemen, scientists, artists, senior citizens and the like.
Yom Haazmaut always occurs the day after Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day to honor fallen soldiers and soldier victims of terrorists). There are typically firework displays at night, airplane displays and bands during the day. Israeli citizens spend Yom Haazmaut with family and friends, often in a Park, on a beach or at home. The Israel Prize is given in scientific fields to notable scientists, artists and people who made a lifetime contribution to the State of Israel.
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Yom HaAtzma'ut References and Related SitesShlomo Chaim HaCohen Aviner, Torat Eretz Yisrael: The Teachings of HaRav Tzvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook, Lambda Publishers, 1991