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Israeli Students Propose New Secular Holiday

‘Ten Days of Thanks’ would fall between Yom HaShoah and Yom Ha’atzmaut

by
Hannah Dreyfus
April 30, 2014
Israelis celebrate the Jewish state's 65th Independence Day on April 15, 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
Israelis celebrate the Jewish state's 65th Independence Day on April 15, 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

The 10 days between Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day—and Yom Ha’atzmaut—Israel’s Independence Day—filled with anticipation and mixed emotions, have always been a bit awkward. So why not fill the time with a new holiday?

That’s what students at the secular-religious yeshiva of Ein Prat thought, at least. They proposed a new holiday called the Ten Days of Thanks (step aside Passover and Hanukkah), to be observed between Yom HaShoah and Yom Ha’atzmaut. The 10 days are meant to correspond to the 10 Days of Repentance traditionally observed by religious Jews between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. However, unlike the Days of Repentance, the Ten Days of Thanks will service the secular Jewish community, the Jerusalem Post reports.

“We are referring to ‘Israeli secular’ dates [Holocaust Remembrance Day, Remembrance Day and Independence Day] that were added to the Jewish calendar after the establishment of the Jewish state and they have become an integral part of the calendar,” expalined the students behind the holiday. “The importance of these dates to the public does not fall short of ‘religious’ dates which are an integral part of Israeli tradition.”

The yeshiva’s students plan to devote the 10-day period to studying texts related to Israel’s achievements as a state. “We see this period as a day of personal and national reckoning – days of gratitude and giving thanks,” they said. Students have also set up posters in several locations where Israelis can write down the things they’re grateful for.

The real question of the hour, though, is which symbolic food will accompany this new holiday? It better be fried and include leavened bread.

Hannah Dreyfus is an editorial intern at Tablet.

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