Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yom HaZikaron (Israel's Memorial Day)

Each time that Yom HaZikaron comes along, I am reminded of several things:

Experiencing the day outside of Israel just doesn't do it. There is no sense of unity or solidarity in the air, as there is in the country. An obvious point, but worth stating.

There is nothing sadder than seeing family members mourning their loved ones. This is especially so because the people we see at the cemeteries and memorial services on this day are Jews like ourselves. Whether they are our actual family members or friends, or not, they are people to whom we relate very strongly. And these losses are more painful because, by & large, family is so central to Jewish culture.

As always, the contrast to our enemies' approach. Their culture - at least in some manifestations - appears to celebrate dying, and killing. I am sure that they mourn their family members who are killed fighting with Israel, but they also seem to take pride in both his death and in the killing that he was able to accomplish. I have never attended any pro-Israel event that expressed pleasure in having to fight those who oppose us.

Am Yisrael Chai.

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