When I attended Camp Solomon Schechter many moons ago, we used to get up early every morning and before Shul, raise the Israeli, the Canadian, and the American flag. We would sing the Hatikvah, the Canadian National Anthem, and the Star Spangle Banner.
As an adult, I realize that morning ritual encompassed the values my parents have given to me. That together as Jews we honor the sacrifices made to ensure we had a place to worth ship in freedom without fear of losing our livelihood, our homes, and our lives. The spirit of being part of a global Jewish community and having pride in the United states of America both serve a common good, should be respected, and the sacrifices never forgotten.
I have children of my own now and extended family that I have enjoyed sharing in their events throughout our Puget Sound Jewish community. At some of these events, I have wondered have we forgotten to teach that being part of a world Jewish community does not go against having pride for the United States of America. Over the last couple of years, some events were ended with the singing of the Hatikvah but forgot to add the National Anthem.
The Hatikvah, the Hope. The hope to be able to survive as Jews in a free homeland fought with sweat and tears and the deaths of our ancestors. To me, the song stands for freedom to study Torah, freedom to be Jewish, freedom to have a choice. I would like to think that goes very well with the Star Spangled Banner. “Our flag was still there” has a nice ring to it, so stand up and sing it.
Wife of 1SG Peter A. Grilley, retired
Operation Iraqi Freedom War Veteran (two tours)