Nefesh B'Nefesh Yom HaAtzmaut

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Inspired by the words of the Declaration of Independence, this brief five minute video is a powerful compilation of thoughts of several prominent Jewish people, ranging from government officials, rabbis, singers, comedians, Holocaust survivors, sports stars, and others on Israel’s independence and the special place this country has in the hearts of Jewish people everywhere.

The Israeli Declaration of Independence was claimed on 14 May 1948 after the British Mandate over Palestine finally expired. Several representatives of Moetzet HaAm,the Jewish People’s Council, convened at the Tel Aviv Museum, approving the nation’s Declaration of Independence which effectively established the State of Israel. This historical motion was approved in less than 24 hours by the United States government, and three days later by the Soviet Union, but fueled anger and tension in the Arab world that would ultimately explode in regional civil war.

Segments of the Israeli Declaration of Independence translated to English read as follows:

“ERETZ-ISRAEL [(Hebrew) - the Land of Israel, Palestine] was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses. Pioneers, ma'pilim [(Hebrew) - immigrants coming to Eretz-Israel in defiance of restrictive legislation] and defenders, they made deserts bloom, revived the Hebrew language, built villages and towns, and created a thriving community controlling its own economy and culture, loving peace but knowing how to defend itself, bringing the blessings of progress to all the country's inhabitants, and aspiring towards independent nationhood.

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country...

We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

We appeal to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of Israel.”

Written by Erin Parfet

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