Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial & Remembrance Day, set upon like a heavy cloud last night in the Jewish homeland. 23,928 souls will be remembered who gave their very last breaths to Israel, as soldiers, in addition to all the victims of terrorism, since 1860.
Israelis know all too well that every person killed was a member of someone’s family, a dear friend, an inspiration. To the Jews living outside Israel, I hope we truly honor and remember these heroes, in every sense of the word, as not ‘over there’ but within our hearts, as missing parts of ourselves.
Israel is a living, breathing part of the Jewish ecosystem, there are no Jews without Israel, no Judaism without Israel.
It may not always seem it, but Jews worldwide are far safer having an independent Israel, a strong Israel, and it is only possible because of the sacrifice made by Jews living in Israel, protecting its borders, its communities, its very being. Therefore, Yom HaZikaron is a Jewish Memorial Day. While not all the fallen and victims of terror were Jewish – Druze, Christians, and Bedouins are among the count – all died b/c the Jewish state they lived in was targeted in some way.
I am not Israeli, I do not pretend to feel the deepest of pains on Yom Hazikaron. But as a Jew, my heart is with Israel on all days, but especially on this day, my mind shifts to think about and honor/remember those brave men and women who, without their actions, the fate of Jews worldwide would be terrifying to imagine.