|Yom HaAliyah |
Joshua Leading the Israelites Across the Jordan on 10th of Nisan
|Official name||Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) Hebrew: יום העלייה|
|Observed by||State of Israel|
|Significance||Celebrating Aliyah as a core value of the Jewish People and honoring the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society. On the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan according to the Bible, Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan River at Gilgal into the Promised Land.|
|Begins||Nisan 10 (Hebrew calendar) & Observed Cheshvan 7 (Hebrew calendar)|
|Date||10 Nisan & Observed 7 Cheshvan|
|2017 date||April 6 & Observed October 27|
|2018 date||March 26 & Observed October 16|
Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) (Hebrew: יום העלייה) is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan and also observed on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, to commemorate the historic events of the Jewish People entering the Land of Israel as written in the Bible, which happened on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan (Hebrew: י' ניסן). The holiday was established to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and honor the ongoing contributions of Olim ("immigrants") to Israeli society.
Yom HaAliyah, as a modern holiday celebration, began in 2012 as a grassroots community initiative and young Olim movement in Tel Aviv, spearheaded by the TLV Internationals organization of the Am Yisrael Foundation. On June 21, 2016 the Twentieth Knesset voted in favor of codifying the grassroots initiative into law by officially adding Yom HaAliyah to the Israeli national calendar. The Yom HaAliyah bill was co-sponsored by Knesset members from different parties in a rare instance of cooperation across the political spectrum of the opposition and coalition. Among those who worked on the Yom HaAliyah bill were Miki Zohar of Likud, Hilik Bar of Israeli Labor Party, and Michael Oren of Kulanu. Similar bills were proposed in other failed forms by Members of Knesset in previous Knesset sessions; Yoel Razvozov, Robert Ilatov, Avraham Neguise, Gila Gamliel, and Ya'akov Katz.
The original day chosen for Yom HaAliyah, the tenth of Nisan, is laden with symbolism. On that day, according to the biblical narrative in the Book of Joshua, Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan River at Gilgal into the Promised Land while carrying the Ark of the Covenant. It was thus the first documented "mass Aliyah."
As the tenth of Nisan occurs a few days before the Passover holiday, when Israeli schools are not in session, the school system will also honor Aliyah on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. That date is also symbolic as the Torah portion read out in synagogues that week, Lekh Lekha, relates the story of how the biblical patriarch Abraham is ordered by God to leave his home and his family and go up to the Land of Israel. This is also the day that the additional prayer for rain is added into the Amidah, and recited 3 times a day by Jews in Israel.
Jay M. Shultz President of the Am Yisrael Foundation, the driving force behind the creation of Yom HaAliyah, believes that the holiday will enable Jews "to connect the Biblical historical truth of Joshua crossing the Jordan to our modern practical reality."
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