So yesterday, I decided to be all festive and celebrate Israel. Struggling to figure out what I wanted for lunch, I settled on schwarma, and headed to my favorite place in NYC.
As I’m carrying my sack full of humus, pita, tabouli, meat and more, I suddenly realize that I have screwed up. While Israel’s Memorial Day was over in Israel, I was still supposed to be observing it in the US. Yom Ha’atzmaut didn’t start until sundown.
Somehow my meal seemed less festive when it became Yom Hazikaron schwarma.
The confusion was not without cause. Just before heading out, I was talking with my best friend online. She’s in Israel for the year. She was telling me about her day, and at that point, she was getting ready to go out and celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut. I figured I should do the same.
Wouldn’t it more sense if Diaspora Jews celebrated these holidays at the same time as Israelis? I mean they are Israeli national holidays. Does it even make sense to commemorate Israel’s Memorial Day at a time when Israel itself isn’t marking it. Likewise, the biggest Israel parade in the US rarely happens on Israel Independence Day itself.
And isn’t the best way to show solidarity with Israel to celebrate with Israel?