For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
The dirt on the graves of those recently murdered for being Jews has yet to dry as we head into another Memorial Day in Israel. Far from the sales at Best Buy, this day in Israel is one of the most solemn. There is almost no one who is not touched by this day, who has not lost, known or heard of someone who has given his life, be it physically or spiritually.
We gather at memorial ceremonies from the past, both near and far, and we have no choice but to think about the future. After all, didn’t we fall for the sake of the future?
“Yom Ha’Zikaron” is not the day to speak of the wonderful achievements of Israel, how we achieved in 63 years what other countries would never and have never achieved in a lifetime – or ever. It is not the day to speak of how Israel has changed the world for the better, how so many owe their lives to Israel, how most people in the world benefit from Israel’s existence daily.
The day is very personal to us as individuals, as communities, as a country and as a people. We the Jewish people all share the reasons that our people have sacrificed their lives for…that of our country, our history, and our heritage, Israel.
I would prefer to say the near future is rosy, but as the many politicians gamble with our lives, making feeble attempts to bring peace while ignoring reality, I view the near future as possibly extracting a heavy cost. Not the cost of prestige that the politicians, the “Rights Activists” fight for, but the cost of future memorial ceremonies on this hallowed terrible day.
Past and Recent graves cannot be ignored or forgotten, nor visited only one day a year. We must constantly remind ourselves, our families, our friends, and those that claim to be our leaders, that these people paid a price that we all share.
It is our responsibility never to forget that no matter where we live, or whichever side of the ocean.
We of course follow “Yom Ha’Zikaron” with the day where we are able to see, feel, enjoy and be grateful, “Yom Ha’Atzmaut”, Independence Day. Because we know that the direction taken, that of having a country for our nation, a haven for the tribe, the only one around, where membership has its dues, while maybe not being the smoothest, dare I say an extremely rocky road, is the right one, but the return is wonderful.
This year, let us try to remember our heroes, our family, our friends, our people, one people with renewed strength and dedication, to move forward, to accomplish that which we have prayed for, to live in our land, all of our land, and to continue to grow and be a light.
After all that’s what Israel does best.
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I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"