Bnei Akiva, the religious Zionist youth group, Israel's third largest, celebrated its 77th anniversary this Shabat. A month of activities that focused on the evacuated Jewish settlements in Gaza and Samaria reached their climax with the bestowing of the name for the new group [shevet] of ninth-graders. The group will be known from now on as Netzach [eternity], borrowed from "the eternal nation", a synonym for the Jewish people.
The bestowing of a group name symbolizes a "coming of age". The names are also used as a time reference for aging Bnei Akiva graduates or a more round-about, well-mannered way of determining someone's age.
This year's slogan for the activity-filled months of activities known as "Chodesh Irgun" was 'continue with strength and faith', a reference to the difficulty of carrying on after the spiritual blow of disengagement.
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