Yom Ha'atzmaut - What Does It Really Mean?
Group Size: 5-30
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
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To deal with
Introduction and Sicha: This week’s snif will deal with
Start off by making sure that the kids know what a national independence day is—for example, explain that it is comparable to the Fourth of July in the United States [note to Canadians—ADAPT!]. Explain that Israelis celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut in a similar way to how we celebrate the Fourth of July— for example, there is no school and all governmental offices are closed. People take the opportunity to spend time with their families and have barbeques in the national parks, go to the beach or on a tiyul, etc. Also, just as the Fourth of July celebrates a specific historical event that symbolizes when America got its independence (namely, the signing of the Declaration of Independence), Yom Ha’atzmaut is a historical celebration which celebrates when Israel was acknowledged as an independent state in 1948, as well as our military victory in 1967, in which we regained the
So now we know how Yom Ha’atzmaut is celebrated and why. Now how can WE celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, even though we are not in
Part of the greatness of Eretz Yisroel is just knowing that its there for us, whenever we need it and that its borders are completely open to all Jews (called the Law of Return). It was very important to those who founded the State in 1948 that every Jew around the world know that there would always be a place for them to live where they wouldn’t be persecuted or dependent on any other nation to live.
You can drive this point home with the following GAME:
You have to be in a large, square room for this game to work. Divide the kids into 4 groups and have them each stand in a corner of the room. Explain that each corner of the room is like a different country, ie:
After the game is over, they will probably want to play it again and again. It is really addictive. But it is a good idea to eventually discuss the point of the game and relate it to our theme of Yom Ha’atzmaut and what