The following is a personal midrash in honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut #69. It is written in the style of the play on words often found in rabbinic midrash introduced by deliberate changes of letters and phonic associations. This form of midrash is used to capture additional layers of meaning latent in certain symbols, concepts and phenomena. The subject of this poem is the term atsma’ut, meaning independence, and its biblical associations based on similar sounding words. Each verse referenced connects the modern State of Israel to biblical promise of redemption, unity and a relationship to the Divine:

 

עצמאות

אל תקרי עצמאות אלא עצמות,

כמו שכתוב: הָעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה כָּל בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה הִנֵּה אֹמְרִים יָבְשׁוּ עַצְמוֹתֵינוּ

וְאָבְדָה תִקְוָתֵנוּ נִגְזרְנוּ לָנוּ (יחזקאל לז:יא)

אבל עוד לא אבדה תקותינו, ועוד ועוד נמצא ונמציא תקוה חדשה

עצמאות

אל תקרי עצמאות אלא מאות “עצמ”ות,

כמו שכתוב:

זֹאת הַפַּעַם עֶצֶם מֵעֲצָמַי וּבָשָׂר מִבְּשָׂרִי (בראשית ב:כג)

שכל ישראל  כגוף אחד עם לבבות מתווכחים ודעות רבות

 

עצמאות

אל תקרי עצמאות אלא צמאות,

כמו שכתוב:

צָמְאָה נַפְשִׁי לֵא-לֹהִים לְאֵ-ל חָי מָתַי אָבוֹא וְאֵרָאֶה פְּנֵי א-לֹהִים. (תהילים מב:ג)

 

עצמאות:

שכל אלו ועוד נמצאים בה

Independence (atsma’ut)

Do not read this as atsma’ut – independence, but as atsamot – bones,

as is written:

“These bones are all of the House of Israel. Behold they say, Our bones have dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off.” (Ezekiel 37:11)

But our hope is not yet lost, and more and more we will find and we will devise new hope

Independence (atsma’ut)

Do not read this as atsma’ut – independence, but as atsamot me’ot – hundred of bones,

as is written:

“This time, you are bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.” (Genesis 2:23)

That all of Israel is as one body with dueling hearts and many opinions.

Independence (atsma’ut)

Do not read this as atsma’ut – independence, but as tseme’ot – thirsty,

as is written:

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalms 42:3)

Independence (atsma’ut): All of this and more are contained (nimtsa’im) within her.