It is a complicated emotional trip from Pesach to Yom Hashoah to Yom Hazikaron to Yom Ha’atzmaut (and of course from there to Shavuot, which begins on the evening of May 24 this year).
Yom Hazikaron is the tribute we pay to the people who gave their lives in the creation of the State of Israel, and Yom Ha’atzmaut, which begins just as Yom Hazikaron ends, separated by just a moment of transition, celebrates the state’s birth. The way those two things are joined, on the calendar as in life, is an inescapable complication, and both follow Yom Hashoah, which, it can be argued, functioned as a horrific precondition for the other two commemorations.
It is not accidental, though, that the series of new holidays ends with joy.
This year, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey offers many ways to mark those two days – we list them on page 10, and again in our calendar on page 54. We hope that you consider joining in the remembrances and the celebration.