Independence Day ceremonies to start with prayers

Municipal Independence Day celebrations throughout the country will begin with the Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel and a prayer for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
The initiative was put forward by the moderate religious Zionist Tzohar organization, the Union of Local Authorities in Israel, and the head of the Knesset's lobby for local authorities, Ze'ev Bielski (Kadima).
Tzohar rabbis said the initiative was intended to thank God for the creation of Israel and add a spiritual element to celebrations that normally are dominated by dancing and barbecues.