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Israeli Independence Day Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tammie Mihet

Tammie has taught elementary school for 14 yrs. and holds an MA in Instructional Technology

If your people were able to return to their homeland after being removed from it, what would you do? Celebrate! In this lesson discover why Israel celebrates an Independence Day and what events take place on this yearly occasion.

Exiled

Imagine your people living in their homeland for thousands of years. You have heard the stories about how your ancient forefathers had conquered the land and made it their own. You feel like the land is a part of who you are and can't imagine living anywhere else. Then one day, a ruler demands that your people leave. With no other choice but to obey, your people leave the land, and for the next 2,000 years they're spread out all over the world with no land to call home. Your people long for the day they can return to their homeland, but will it ever come?

Think this story is made up? Think again! Read on to learn about how all these events lead up to Israeli Independence Day!

History of a Nation

To truly understand Israeli Independence Day, you have to delve a little into the history of the Israelites, also known as the Jewish people.

According to Jewish history, the area presently known as Israel was first occupied by the patriarch, or father, of the Jewish nation, Abraham. However, it wasn't until about 1,000 BC that a great king of the Israelites, King David, captured Jerusalem and made it the capital of the Jewish people. His son, King Solomon, later built the first Jewish temple and this marked many years of peace for the Israelites. However, after the reign of Solomon, peace came to an end and many battles with surrounding nations ensued. During this time, the Jewish people were captured and ruled by various nations, including the Egyptians and Romans. Then in 135 AD, 1,135 years after King David captured Jerusalem, the Israelites were officially exiled, or banished, from the land by the Romans.

Location of Israel in the Middle East
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Expelled from the Holy Land

It was after this exile by the Romans that the dispersion, or spreading, of the Jewish people all over the world began. To the Jewish people, they weren't just being expelled from any land - they were expelled from sacred land. This is because, to the Jewish people, the land of Israel is the Holy Land. They consider it a land given to them by God, and many of their religious practices are tied to this Holy Land. This is why, when the Jews were expelled, they longed to go back and someday return to a land that they considered vital to their history, their religion, and their very way of life. But that day would not come until almost 2,000 years after their exile.

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