May 16, 2024
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Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut Program Unites Bergen County Community

This past week, the Jewish community of Bergen County gathered in Teaneck to commemorate Yom HaZikaron and celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut. The event drew people from all over the county, coming together in a profound display of solidarity and unity with our brothers and sisters in Israel. The program was especially poignant this year, given the tragic events since October 7, underscoring the deep connection and empathy we feel for those affected.

The Yom HaZikaron portion of the program was a solemn and moving tribute to those who have given their lives in defense of the State of Israel. The atmosphere was charged with emotion as we remembered the sacrifices made by soldiers and victims of terror, highlighting the ongoing struggles and the resilience of the Israeli and Jewish people. The community stood together, reflecting on the cost of freedom and the enduring spirit of our people.

Following the commemorative portion, the mood shifted to one of joy and celebration as we transitioned to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, marking the 76th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel. The celebration began with a heartfelt davening, invoking prayers of gratitude and hope. The air was filled with music, a wonderful light show, and the joyous sounds of dancing as people of all ages joined in the festivities, rejoicing in the miracle of Israel’s establishment and its continued existence.

What stood out throughout the entire program was the remarkable display of love and unity. There were no calls for the death or destruction of those who harm us; instead, the focus remained on celebrating our heritage and coming together as a community. This spirit of unity and resilience is what has sustained the Jewish people through centuries of challenges and adversities.

As we gathered, the teachings of Rebbe Nachman from Likutei Moharan, Chapter 51 resonated deeply: “The emergence of falsehood, which is evil, results from a distancing from oneness. In a state of oneness, everything is good and where there is oneness evil has no place.” This wisdom emphasizes that our strength lies in our unity and our commitment to oneness. The more we recognize the unity of God and the oneness of life, the more we ensure that our enemies cannot destroy us.

The Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut program in Teaneck was a testament to this enduring unity. It brought together diverse segments of the Jewish community, transcending differences and focusing on our shared identity and purpose. The event not only honored the past but also celebrated the present and looked forward to a hopeful future.

As we reflect on this significant gathering, let us continue to come together in wholesome ways, bringing the light of the Torah to the world. Our unity is our strength, and as we move forward, may we be blessed to see the coming of Mashiach, b’karov b’yamenu. The spirit of solidarity and joy that filled Teaneck this past week serves as a powerful reminder of what we can achieve when we stand together, united in purpose and faith.


Dr. Josh Schwarzbaum is a transformative coach and a triple board certified physician in emergency medicine, addiction medicine and emergency medical services. You can learn more about him at www.healthyinside.net.

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