Yom Ha'atzmaut Liturgy

Religious observance of Yom Ha'atzmaut draw on a variety of Jewish customs.

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Some also read the Torah (Deuteronomy 7:1-8:18, describing what would happen after the Israelites entered the Land, or Deuteronomy 30:1-10, about being returned to the Land after exile and misfortune). A prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel, one in memory of those fallen, prayers for Jerusalem, and a Zion Lover's Prayer have also been added to services, along with the song expressing belief in the coming of the messiah, "Ani Ma' amin." Many of these changes were incorporated into the machzor (festival prayer book) developed by Hakibbutz Hadati (the religious kibbutz movement).

Communities around the world have added their own touches. An announcement of the number of years since the establishment of the state prior to sounding the shofar at the Ma'ariv [evening] service is modeled on the Yemenite Tisha B'Av custom of proclaiming the number of years since the destruction of the Temple. Ma'ariv in some communities is chanted to the yom tov nusah (holiday melody).

A Tikkun L 'Yom Ha'atzmaut, an anthology of readings and prayers (parts of Kabbalat Shabbat, Shema, Leshanah Haba B'Yerusha/ayim, Shir Hama' alot--perhaps sung to the tune of Israel's national anthem--and Ani Ma'amin), is used by some Moroccan and other congregations for Ma'ariv and Shacharit. Some add Psalm 27 ("The Lord is my light and my help").

The Conservative movement prayer book includes a customized version of Al Hanissim along with suggested readings related to Israel. The Reform movement prayer book includes a service written especially for Independence Day.

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Lesli Koppelman Ross is a writer and artist whose works have appeared nationally. She has devoted much of her time to the causes of Ethiopian Jewry and Jewish education.