From Independence to Interdependence

Dena Weiss

Yom HaZikaron-Yom Ha'Atzmaut

Today is not called the "Day of Freedom" or the day of "Nation-creation" or "Statehood." Today is called the "Day of Independence, Yom Ha-Atzma’ut." There is something that is very compelling about this vision of freedom and it may be politically attractive, but the Hasidic master, R. Aryeh Leib Alter (the Sefat Emet) points out that valorizing self-sufficiency may be spiritually problematic, if not corrosive. According to the Sefat Emet, it is interdependence, rather than independence, that reflects God’s vision for us in the world. We should be recognizing ourselves as embedded in a social web rather than trying to deny that we exist in relationship to other people. Instead of trying to escape need, we should embrace it. (5782)