by David Aaronson (’14)

This past Tuesday, MTA celebrated Yom HaAtzma’ut, the 65th anniversary of the Jewish State of Israel. The day began with Shacharis and Hallel, after which a auditorium-wide dance broke out, as well as a speech by student council President Eli Weinstein (’13).

The breakfast after davening was extraordinary. Natanel Niazoff brought in blue bagels with white cream cheese in honor of the chag; special thanks to Sammy’s Bagels of Teaneck, NJ. There was also a very successful donut sale, in which HaTzioni raised more money than ever before.

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At 11:20, the annual Chagigah in the Lions’ Den began, which featured lots of dancing singing and ruach. The room was filled with Israeli flags, and beautiful decorations. A Dvar Torah was then given by Rav Dovid Miller, one of the YU Rosh Yeshiva, who now lives in Israel. HaTzioni President Shlomo Anapolle remarked that this Chagigah was our “last dance of the year.”

Many talmidim remained in the gym long after the Chagigah was scheduled to end; the celebrations thus went on past 1PM. Some shiurim then had the privilege to hear a special shiur from YU Rosh Yeshiva Rav Hershel Schachter, which can be heard on

Perhaps the biggest honor we had on this special day, was that our very own Yishai Eisenberg (’16) won the International Chidon HaTanach. Prime Minister Netanyahu awarded Yishai with the prize for First Place in this contest. During lunch, students had the opportunity to watch a tape-delayed stream of the event.

Students were later able to stroll over to to Tenzer Gardens and the grassy area in front of the Max Stern Athletic Center, where a YU barbeque and carnival was taking place.

The day ended with the distribution of the Yom HaAtzma’ut edition of the HaTzioni magazines. Thank you to all who helped make this Yom HaAtzma’ut so incredible.

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