by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Israeli Independence Day is an odd time for an American Jew in Israel...
. Very patriotic, flags everywhere. Music, celebrations, events throughout the country. We're not used to this in-the-face appreciation of State. Of course, we're also not used to neighbor States that want to kill us, and try now and again.
. STRANGE religious positions associated with this secular state holiday. Those positions are...
--- Ultra-secular, where the State celebration is a replacement religious event to hang in front of those segments of the population who aren't secular.
--- National-religious, where the State celebration has relgio-messianic overtones as the first major step of the geulah, and an invested kedushah (holiness) from Hashem in re-settling the Land and re-engaging as a people as an active Nation (State) of G-d. For this segment, the day is a religious celebration on par with Purim and Chanukah, with special prayers in synogogue including Hallel (the prayers of great praise).
--- Average Charedi (ultra-orthodox), where the State of Israel would be just another secular government to be lived within, if it weren't for periodic government anti-religious actions which require communal opposition. The average charedi tries to straddle the strange line of not pissing off the ultra-secular by ignoring certain unavoidable holiday traditions, but not investing the day in any special or (G-d forbid) religious meaning - particularly given past Gedolim's statements that this secular zionist path is not a positive one for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.
--- Extreme Charedi, where the State of Israel is a negative thing, one who's influences and actions are always suspect and frequently understood to be antithetical to the Jewish religious way of life. The extreme charedi is tearing flags of buses passing through his neighborhood, and may be attending an anti-State protest on Independence Day.
A video of local celebrations, including live music.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא