A memorial siren united all of Israel at 10 am this morning, standing still in solidarity with the memory of those who fought and perished in the Holocaust not so long ago.

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Photo courtesy of Menachem Lieberman

I stood with the deer, Jerusalem’s bright blue sky pierced by the siren blaring in the air and enveloping us in freedom. These majestic creatures, living in the valley that saw the siege over our capital city in that very same 1940s era, seemed to know. They froze, with heads upright, for those two minutes.

Jerusalem is home to a unique family of gazelles, newly protected within their original habitat smack in the middle of this bustling metropolis. The public is invited from early morning to night, to wander and sit among these majestic creatures, respectful of their home. Kudos to the Jerusalem Municipality and a slew of volunteers who’ve brought nature literally into the residents’ living rooms, complete with birdwatching areas, watering holes and even giant relaxing pillows (for the humans, I assume). A highly recommended spot for morning coffee or an evening stroll.

Meanwhile, in other areas around our very small country today, Israeli Defense Forces continue to battle terrorists in Gaza, and Israel’s southern residents find themselves under attack. This mirrors ongoing unrest on our northern border, in nearby Syria.  Holocaust Memorial Day is not only an annual reminder of what was, but a wake up call for those who may otherwise forget what we’re doing here.

Israel is a miracle, a living, breathing miracle in our time. Just ask the deer, who roam freely in a protected valley that has witnessed siege and victory in Jerusalem’s rocky past.

And don’t forget to enjoy the colors of spring while you’re at it. Not a bad way to start off the day. deer park nature