(as appeared in Arutz 7 Online Hebrew News at the following link – translated from Hebrew)
Thousands at the OU’s Independence Day prayer: “Love and loyalty to the Land of Israel and Yerushalayim”
Thousands of teenagers and adults participated in the Independence Day prayer at the Gan Ha’Pa’amon Park in Yerushalayim together with the senior officials of the organization and Yerushalayim’s deputy mayor. Rabbi Berman: “If we have come this far in 75 years, just think what will happen in the years to come”
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In Gan Ha’Pa’amon Park in Yerushalayim, the OU Israel Independence Day eve prayer was held this evening (Tuesday) in the presence of the organization’s senior officials, including OU Israel CEO Rabbi Avi Berman, OU Global President Mitch Eider, OU EVP Rabbi Moshe Havar, OU EVP & COO Rabbi Dr. Josh Joseph, OU Israel’s President Stewart Hershkowitz and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and Head of the Israel Heritage Depa Aryeh King.
About 4,000 participants from the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa and those who immigrated from there in recent years participated in the festive prayer, thus opening the celebrations of the 75th Independence Day of the State of Israel. Many more came to hear the blowing of the shofar at the end of the prayer and after the prayer, which was led by the event’s singer Rabbi Shlomo Katz, a big dance began in which the participants danced and sang together on the spot.
Deputy Mayor and Head of the Israel Heritage Department Aryeh King said: “What a tremendous power there is in the prayer in which many Jews from around the world participate in the Independence Day celebrations here in the holy city of Yerushalayim, in addition to many celebratory prayers initiated by the department in the city. It is exciting to see the love and loyalty to the Land of Israel and Yerushalayim in any reality, In every situation and with all my heart. The State of Israel is still in its infancy, 75 years is like zero in history and yet we have achieved tremendous achievements, the words of King David are fulfilled in us: ‘Thank God for His grace and His wonders to men, for He has satisfied a restless soul and a hungry soul full of goodness. There is a desert to a lake of water and land. The vision of the prophets is coming true and more great futures have been prepared for us.”