Mother of Hostage Urges Mayor to Tone Down Independence Day Celebrations


ISRAEL (VINnews) — The family of hostage Agam Berger is vocally distraught with the decision by the Holon Municipality to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day), virtually like any other year .

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Agam’s mother, Mirav, told Kan News that “the city is steeped in trauma, and the mayor chooses to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut frivolously. It’s a slap in the face from someone I expect to lead the change we so desperately need”.

The brother of the Israeli soldier Agam Berger who is being held captive by the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza, celebrating his Bar Mitzvah with family members at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site in the Old City of Jerusalem, March 14, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90 

The mother reportedly reached out directly to Mayor Shay Keinan, who replied: “I disagree with you. There is great value, especially this year, in celebrating.”

“I don’t know of any city that canceled their celebrations. In all cities, there are local artists performing – why should we be different?”

According to Israeli media reports, Yom Haatzmaut celebrations in Holon will include performances, artists, and several stages, and one of the central stages even being set up near the home of the Berger family.

Prior to Purim, Rabbi Shaul Alter, Rosh Yeshiva of Ger, was asked whether Jews should change something this past Purim, such as mitigate their celebration, or do something different than normal years.

The Rebbe replied that in his opinion, people should be happy as usual. He said that if people sit in sadness, it will not benefit anyone, including those in danger. He also pointed out that our happiness is coming from the belief that Hashem brings salvation.

However the Rabbi also said that this is only his opinion, and seemed to suggest that people should decide on a personal level how they should best celebrate

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8 days ago

Why mix Shaul Alter with Yom Hatzmaut? Yom Hatzmaut is NOT a day of celebration and never was. Purim IS a day of celebration, and a day of change.