The Hebrew phrase ‘m’evel l’yom tov‘ – ‘from mourning to festivity’ – captures perfectly the feeling of the move from Yom ha-Zikaron to Yom ha-Atzma’ut. It’s part of the brilliance of the Israeli calendar that we move directly from the emotional lowest of lows to the highest of highs. The message of the twinned observances is that the state of Israel did not come easily, that it was born from and is sustained by the sacrifices of the soldiers who fell in the country’s battles and this make it all the more precious. We gathered in or guide’s room and watched the live broadcast from Mt. Herzl, where we had stood last week and where the country observed a solemn ceremony to mark the transition between the two days, acknowledging the enormity of the loss and expressing gratitude for the miracle of this magnificent and indispensable country, now making its sixty-seventh birthday. Various luminaries were called up to give short speeches and light ceremonial torches, including Arab-Israeli television personality Lucy Aharish, pilot Gal Luski who organizes airlifts of emergency aid to countries that have suffered natural disasters, and inventor Daniel Gold who developed the country’s defensive Iron Dome system. The ceremony concluded with the singing of Hatikvah and we sprayed each other with the traditional celebratory silly string (seriously) before heading out to the streets of Tel Aviv to party in the beautiful night air. Chag Sameach!