Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, celebrates the proclamation of Israel's independence and sovereign statehood on Iyyar 5708 (1948). The day before Yom Ha'atzmaut is Yom ha-Zikkaron (Memorial Day), which is marked by services held at military cemeteries and prayers for those who died defending the State of Israel.

In celebration of Israels' 55 Independence Day, we include here 3 posters which evoke the idealism of the early Return to Zion. The first two illustrations are from the early years of the Zionist movement.

An 1906 illustration depicting three early Zionist leaders (Herzl, Nordau and Mandelstamm), a farmer seeding a field, and Jews praying at the Wailing wall
An early-century illustration depicting Theodor Herzl's portrait along with the idealized (almost-biblical) vision of returning to physically working the Land of Israel.


Illustration issued by the Jewish National Fund  (Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael)  poster, distributed in Poland in the early 1930s. The poster uses three languages - Hebrew, Polish and Yiddish, to invite potential settlers to the Valley of Jezreel in Palestine. The  Keren Kayemet  was established by the World Zionist Organization for the acquisition and development of land in Palestine.

Yom Ha'atzmaut was declared a religious holiday by the chief rabbinate, which formulated a special order of prayer for the evening and morning services, now incorporated in many Israeli and diaspora prayer books. Included in this service are Psalms 97, 98 and 107, and a special Haftarah reading from Isaiah 10:32-12 (chanted following the Torah reading when Yom Ha'atzmaut falls on a Monday or Thursday). We include here Psalm 98, and a few verses from the Haftarah in popup menus.

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