Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yom Hazikaron

Usually I go to the Yom Hazikaron (Memorial day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror) at the Kotel (Western Wall), but since I moved to Tel Aviv, this year I went to a service in English the day before to commemorate soldiers that had fallen who had made Aliyah and שירים בכיכר רבין songs in Kikar Rabin last night.

I think the thing that hit me in both services as stories were told was that, all the soldiers were so strong in their zionist values and support for the state of Israel, they all really wanted to serve the country and defend it. Their tragic untimely deaths though, are not what they should be known for, the lives and values they espoused. We need to remember their lives and not just commemorate their deaths.

The Story of Michael Levin obviously stands out to me because I knew him, and it is always amazing to me, amongst Anglos, how many people will come up with some sort of connection to him. In the shuk (market) in Jerusalem, there is a plaque to him in a famous bakery shop marzipan where he used to go to buy chocolate rugelach and I can whenever I go there and see that sign, it reminds of me of how one person can touch so many, even the shop owners that he interacts with.

Another story that was told, was that of Alex Singer:

The song that stood out for me the most at the ceremony was that of Zehava Ben originally called "forbidden love" but is also performed under the name "what will be", here is a version with some Enlgish lyrics:

As I drive to work I pass a military cemetary and today when I saw soldiers going inside, the morbid thought, crosses my mind, do they ever consider their fate as being's so crazy to think about these things...and the way this country functions....that tonight we will go out and celebrate our independance immediately after commemorating the sacrifices...It's re-affirming. It's a complicated emotional process, and it is one that everyone shares, everyone has a story. It's so sad, but it's how we live here.


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