Yom Hazikaron

15 Apr

Yom Hazikaron, 2013.  So many emotions every year.  My first couple of years in Israel, I felt like I was observing a memorial day that had nothing to do with me.  Despite making Aliyah, and all the many ways that it has everything to do with me – I didn’t do the army, I didn’t lose anyone close to me, and I found it hard to tap into the feeling of the day. 6 years on, I don’t feel that way anymore. When they read the lists of names out at the evening ceremony in Pardes Chana, such a long, long list, of soldiers and victims of terror and those who fought for our state long before it was even a dream… I realise it has everything to do with me.  With everyone that has chosen Israel as their adopted country.

Last night, as the cantor recited El Maale Rachamim, the baby kicked and kicked. I rubbed my stomach, feeling a stark, heartbreaking paradox at being at a memorial service for so many young people, all while feeling a life growing inside me.  But this is what this day is really about – remembering who came before us. We also think of the future and pray for peace, or at least that our neighbours will quit wanting to destroy this country. We pray that by the time our children our grown maybe there won’t be a need for them to join the army. But this baby, this boy, may one day have to be sent off in olive green uniform to defend our country. And I will be proud, even if my heart is breaking.

564348_441926875901007_93105859_n 554162_10151553082143571_594683045_nToday is a sombre day. A day of sadness, and solidarity. No shops are open, no BBQs or sales or weekend trips. Families and friends and soldiers visit the graves of fallen soldiers in cemeteries all over the country. We remember them today, we thank them for their sacrifice, and we pray that no more mothers’ tears should fall, no more friends should have to mourn, no more children should have to be taken in defense of our right to exist.

Even if usually this country is fragmented by our differences into a thousand different pieces, this is the one day we try our best to be one people, with one heart.

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Please leave a reply! Thanks - Dannii x

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