Today begins a week of memory and commemoration in Israel. Tuesday evening, April 13 begins Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers concluding with the celebrations of Independence Day on Wednesday evening through Thursday, April 14th (a day early this year because of the Shabbat).
I have often wondered why we spend so much time reliving these heartbreaking events. Surely the people who lived through these traumas do not need a day to remember, they live everyday with memories.
During memorial days my grandfather would take me to visit the graves of his friends and loved ones. He pointed out the people he knew from the town where he grew up; a man who helped build the local synagogue, the butcher who lived across from the Jewish community center. Each grave marked with a Jewish star represented a unique life, a life that had left its mark on my grandfather.
In honoring these people, my grandfather left an indelible mark on me. I was reminded that we stand here today because of the sacrifices of so many who are no longer with us.
On Tuesday evening through Wednesday in Israel we will join in commemorative memorials across the country, in schools, at war monuments and in cemeteries. Tears will be shed, prayers offered, and stones placed on graves with flags raised in honor of those we have lost in wars, terror and a holocaust over the past century. Friends and family will come together to tell the stories and recall the bravery, and the pain, of loved ones we can never forget. Soon, in just a few short years, there will not be any survivors left to tell their stories.
We feel their absence, for they are no longer here to give us direction, fill leadership roles in our communities, or extend comfort to those left behind. This week, as we marvel at the spring season of rebirth, it is good that we also find time to renew the memory of the untold sacrifices of those who made it possible for us to live today. We bring our children to Memorial Day events, read the names on the plaques and think about the families that were forever changed by the lives, and the losses, of their loved ones. We shake the hands of young soldiers in appreciation and weep with those who weep.
Come remember with us
In honor of our nation, here at Israel Today we have organized an Independence Day Bible Quiz for our Members. What better way to honor the Jewish people than setting aside time to remember the great events in the biblical history of Israel. The Bible Quiz adds a spiritual dimension to celebrating Israel’s Return to their Homeland and encourages adults and young people to study the Bible just like the National Bible Quiz that is an annual Israeli tradition.
Where: Live on Zoom from Jerusalem
When: Sunday April 18th at 18:00 Israel time
How: Israel Today Members pleaser register by following the link below
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