If you think Israeli success in international sports these days, you think windsurfing.
That’s the competition, also known as sailboarding, in which a racer rides the waves on a surfboard attached to a sail.
Israel earned its only Olympic gold medal in history, at the Athens Games of 2004, for windsurfing, and it earned a bronze, also in windsurfing, at Beijing last year.
His uncle came to this spot in rural Germany 65 years ago, as a private in the U.S. Army, carrying a rifle.
Last week President Barack Obama made a pilgrimage to Buchenwald, as a civilian and as commander-in-chief, bearing a single white rose.
For a period in the modern history of Israel, the country’s presidency, largely a figurehead position, was the province of academia, filled — after Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president, a scientist and Zionist leader — by men who became president from largely apolitical professions, a poet and historian among them.
The last man like that died on Saturday.
In Israel, it’s known as Yom Yerushalayim, the annual commemoration of the day, Iyar 28 on the Hebrew calendar, when the capital of the Jewish state was suddenly unified during the Six-Day War in 1967.
In Israel, it’s become a quasi-religious holiday with political and messianic overtones; a time for singing and dancing, rallies and counter-rallies.
On the Sea of Galilee, a boat ride. In Moscow, a parade. In Australia, bonfires from Perth to Melbourne. In South Africa, Bedouin-style braais, as barbecues are known there.
In Israel, the U.S. and other Jewish venues, festive haircuts and weddings and picnics and other spirited celebrations.
On Lag b’Omer, the 33rd day of the period between Passover and Shavuot, a period of semi-mourning because of a divine-sent plague that took the lives of 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva 2,000 years ago during the first 32 days of the Omer, joy is a mitzvah.
Mira, a sergeant in the Red Army during World War II, moved from unit to unit, treating wounded soldiers. Yakov served as a captain, stationed by the navy in several places. Emanuel, an officer, was stationed at the front.
If they were still in the former Soviet Union, they would take part in a national celebration last week of Victory in Europe Day, a holiday commemorating the end of what was called in the USSR “The Great Patriotic.”
‘From mourning to joy” is a slogan in Jewish life.
In Israel, it’s an annual ritual.
Every year in spring, the Jewish State marks Yom HaZikaron, its memorial day for fallen soldiers, then, as the sun sets that night, it gives way to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day.
The numbers of Holocaust survivors decreases each year, but the numbers who remember the Holocaust victims each year remains constant in New York City.
Some 2,000 people — survivors, their descendants and members of the wider Jewish community — come together every year during the week of Yom HaShoah in the sanctuary of the Upper East Side’s Congregation Emanu-El for the Annual Gathering of Remembrance, the city’s oldest and largest Holocaust memorial ceremony.
Time doesn’t stand still every year on the 27th day of Nissan, but part of Israel does.
On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, at the annual time established by the Knesset in 1951 to memorialize the Jewish people’s collective losses at the hands of the Nazis, restaurants and entertainment venues are closed, Israeli television carries introspective programming and most Israelis stop whatever they are doing when air-raid sirens sound throughout the land.
Over the decades, the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibet’s Buddhist community, has maintained an ongoing dialogue with the international Jewish community — in New York City, in Washington, in Jerusalem and in India, where he has lived for the last half-century.
Last week the Dalai Lama’s Jewish outreach continued.