Eight years ago I made a choice to indoctrinate my kids with a feeling responsibility to their nation and their national homeland. I made a choice to move one and birth three more in a country that demands that they will fight for their own survival and the rights of others. In America, it is very unlikely that they would have seen gun fire or battle. In America, they would not bear any responsibility for their fellow Jew beyond charity and empathy. In America, the only threat to their survival is random anti-semitism or gang violence. I made a choice.
That choice led my youngest brother to come here as a soldier. He is now in danger and in service. Many people who are born in this amazing country, Israel, question my choice. Why would I risk it? Why would I take the hard way, when the easy way was handed to me on a platter?
The easy way is never the way to success. It is only the way to exist. I want my children to grow in a future where the Jewish people do more than continue to exist. I want us to thrive and achieve our national potential. I choose to risk my children’s lives in that goal; because, with the risk comes the chance to live their best life and achieve their full potential.
I live every day here with that decision. Memorial Day is hard and important for me because I have not lost anyone I know, thank G-d. I have a different role. I have to bear witness to everyone else who has had to live with that loss. I have to acknowledge my choice.
Thank you to every other mother who risks what she loves to keep my family and the Jewish people safe. Thank you to every father, brother, sister, aunt and uncle who grieve today. Thank you to every volunteer and charitable organization that helps and supports our troops. I cannot say thank you to the soldiers themselves. Thank you is not enough. G-d bless you and keep you safe. May your deeds stand as witnesses for you, to protect you in this world and the infinite World To Come.