FLICKERING FIREWORKS FOR FREEDOM
By Ariella Bracha Waldinger
Fireworks have been used for hundreds of years for cultural and religious events. In fact the earliest documented use dates back to 7th century China, where they were invented. Who is not moved by the spectacle of the glittering, shimmering lights of a fireworks display with its multi-colored bursts of flames? What Jew is not moved by the Fireworks that represent the celebration of our people returning to sovereignty in our ancient homeland? Aerial Fireworks are an extraordinary and expressive way to represent a historical event of epic biblical proportion: the miracle of our rising from the ashes of the Holocaust to build the 3rd commonwealth of our Jewish nation in the land of our Biblical inheritance. Through this miracle G-d showed us HIS compassion and the manifestation of His presence in our time.
For me personally, each flicker of light and sparkle of color represents a Jewish soul whose flame was snuffed out before its time. The soul did not get to shimmer and sparkle in the way it normally would have. But we, THE JEWISH NATION, carry the memory of these souls in our collective consciousness always and forever. The precious holiday of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) brings their memory to the forefront of our consciousness and allows us to reflect upon their self-sacrifice in a powerful way.
Beautiful fireworks are one of those ways! I am flushed with pride, as I stand amidst the Jewish nation in our homeland savoring and delighting in all the ceremonies and especially the fireworks. They are magical! I engage my imagination as each burst of light explodes and then cascades its sparks of light down to the ground. From heaven down to earth they seem to fall and with their falling, I am aroused to rise up into my own personal strength in order to do justice to the memory of those 25,664 souls and all they fought for. And so the fireworks end, and I leave them with this parting thought; their soul flame and eternal memory will always burn in the hearts of the Jewish nation, as we continue to take pride in our identity and celebrate our miracles in these days at this time through the prism of the flickering fireworks of freedom.
With love and blessings of light and freedom and profound pride in being a part of the Jewish nation in ERETZ HAKODESH, Ariella Bracha