The Jewish people are all about life. It’s even our motto “Am Yisrael Chai.” G-d Himself says in Deuteronomy 30:19:
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
For too many years, we were “galus Jews”: wandering, escaping, hiding and persecuted. We didn’t have the luxury to choose life, not the life a Jewish soul yearns for and the one which G-d intended for us. One in which we live in our country, devoting our existence to a life of value, virtue and meaning.
Instead, we’ve been beaten, torn and left for dead all over the world throughout history. Our regeneration was no less than a miracle each and every time it occurred. Despite the fact that man’s vicious cruelty can be devastating, it is no match for G-d’s will. He made a covenant with our forefathers and it would be fulfilled come hell or high water. So after the longest and darkest period, in which we endured the worst possible nightmare, a new era dawned that birthed our magnificent country. It is only after countless miracles that I sit here in Israel, our homeland, writing this blogpost on the eve of Yom HaZikaron.
Tonight, we will remember all our fallen soldiers and the contributions they made to our country. They fulfilled G-d’s words, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death………now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” They realized the true spirit of G-d’s command to chose life for they lived out theirs in contributing everything they had into building a bridge between past and future. They gave their life so our children can live securely. Every freedom we enjoy, in and because of Israel, we owe to them. Heaven and earth testify to their sacrifice for in the earth they are buried and in heaven they now dwell.
Avraham was asked to sacrifice his beloved son Yitzchak. His willingness to fulfill G-d’s request was so great that for thousands of years we have been invoking the Akeidat Yitzchak to merit Divine compassion. With that in mind, I can only imagine how much merit our country has in our bank account from the countless Jewish parents who have had to sacrifice their beloved children so that millions of Jews can live safe and secure in our homeland.
Am Yisrael Chai.
Let’s make them proud.