Red,White And Beer?


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By Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz –

Your flag flying for the Fourth?  Or is it just another day off?

Our American Independence Day should be a day of pride and enthusiasm. We belittle its meaning by merely celebrating the day with flags, hot dogs and beer. When our early Americans – NOT the First Americans, who were on this land for generations before “discovery” – challenged a foreign ruler (the King of England) for the right to be free from ridiculous taxation, they fought, won, and the United States of America started to develop.

In many ways our country is still in its infancy when compared to other “ancient” nations. We are still learning how to tackle our freedoms, understand the many faces of America and acknowledge the responsibilities of running a country well.

All this pales alongside a Fourth of July flag wafting in the breezes of summer. Patriotic music, readings of the words of our founders, pageants recognizing the evolution, expansion and positive growth of our country, produce a wonderful feeling of pride in being an American.

Sure, we have problems. What family doesn’t? Certainly we face challenges. Who can walk without falling a couple times? However, the United States of America is the best nation on earth, certainly for those of us lucky enough to live here.

Pondering independence and freedom from tyranny for only one day a year, comes up short. Our country is worth more. What about every day?

The Fourth of July is a time to recognize the contributions of our great country, re-connect with our mutual American values and reassess our responsibility to the USA. Beer, hot dogs and flags will have a deeper meaning when we do.

Happy Independence Day!

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