Monday, November 08, 2010

Israeli Flag Dancing

Maybe other countries have these, but I never heard of them until we enrolled our children at Yeshivat Rambam in Baltimore.

Every Yom HaAtzmaut, while at least half the religious Jews in America are pretending that nothing significant happened on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyar 5708), the students at Yeshivat Rambam produce a program for the community both to honor those who lost their lives defending the State of Israel and to celebrate another year of her independence.

For me, the highlight of the evening was always, always the candle-lighting ceremony where families who were making aliyah in the upcoming months were honored by the community.  However, the Israeli flag dancing, known as daglanut, came a close, close second.  Daglanut, especially the years when my kids were the ones carrying the flags, is a grand and pride-filled celebration of the Israeli flag and all it means.  It's basically synchronized (more or less) marching with huge Israeli flags.  Like with a fireworks display, some of the choreography borders on spectacular and gets a big rise from the audience.

This past motzei Shabbat, way, way after I should have been in bed, I sat on stone steps near our shul and watched the performances of Shabbat Irgun.

Shabbat Irgun is the culmination of a month of intense Bnei Akiva youth group activity around a theme.  Although my children are too old now to really participate, rumor has it that this year's theme was aliyah.

But more importantly, the Shabbat Irgun tekes (ceremony) included four-and-a-half gorgeous minutes of daglanut.  The real thing.  Israeli kids.  My neighbors' kids.  Israeli flags.  My national flag!  In Israel.  In my neighborhood.

Once again, new immigrant tears welled up in my eyes and I was reminded of what a privilege it is to live here.

1 comment:

AF said...

It is amazing - the kids put so much work into it! I don't know about MA, but in Ginot the kids march from the snif to the basketball court where they do the daglanut.