Freedom is Not Just a Passover Tale
Updated: Apr 29
Passover is synonymous with freedom and in Israel, we have a lot to be grateful for. Israel had its own redemption story not too long ago, so having a country to call home is not something we take for granted.
Keep reading for 5 significant events that happened in April that signify our freedom.
April 1, 1925:
The Second Oldest University in Israel Opens Their Doors
Education is the hallmark of a free society. The free exchange of ideas and affordable education shows you what a country values most. Even before Israel was a state, it already had two prestigious universities.
Israel's oldest University is Technion, the Institute of Technology, which opened in 1912, and Hebrew University came in second and had its opening ceremony on April 1, 1925. The idea of building the university came up in the First Zionist Congress in Basle in 1869 and the cornerstone of the building was laid on July 24, 1918. The opening ceremony featured Herbert Samuel, Hayim Nahman Bialik, Rav Kook, Lord Balfour, and many more special leaders.
April 3, 1949:
Peace Agreements at the End of War of Independence
In its very short history as an official country, Israel has unfortunately been in many wars to fight for its freedom. On this day, Israel's War of Independence was resolved with the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreement or The Rhodes Agreement with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
April 7, 1977:
Maccabi Tel Aviv Wins first European Cup Championship
On this day, Maccabi Tel Aviv won the European Cup Championship for the first time. They won a close game of 78 - 77 against Mobilgirgi Varese of Italy to win the championship.
This was a big deal for the tiny country of four million people. Especially as two months earlier, Israel had beat the Soviet team in a game that was broadcast in the news as “the fight between David and Goliath”.
American-born top Israeli player at the time, Tal Brody, famously exclaimed, “We are on the map! And we are staying on the map - not only in sports but in everything!” This game lifted the national spirits in a country that had already seen so much loss and war since its inception less than 30 years earlier!
April 11, 1961:
Trial Begins to Hold Eichman Accountable for 'Final Solution'
In May 1960, Adolf Eichmann, the man responsible for the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews to the concentration camps, was found in Argentina by Israeli agents, brought to Israel, and handed over to the Israeli police.
One year later, on April 11, 1961, the trial against the Nazi war criminal began. He was convicted of horrific crimes against Jews and against humanity and was executed at midnight between May 31 and June 1, 1962.
April 22, 1978:
Israel Wins Eurovision Music Competition for the First Time
Israel first entered the Eurovision Music Contest in 1973, and it was only a short five years late, in 1978 that they won first place. The song that snagged the prize is called, "Abanibi" and was originally intended to be entered in the Israeli Broadcast Authority's Children's Song Festival.
The catchy song was composed (and conducted) by Nurit Hirhs, written by Ehud Manor, and performed by Izhar Cohen and the Alphabeta.