Can We Experience a Meaningful Yom Hazikaron, Thousands of Miles From Israel?
In Israel, Memorial Day in unavoidable. You can feel it in the air. You can sense it everywhere you go. There is no escape…and there SHOULDN’T be.
Since everybody knows somebody personally affected by loss, the pain of Yom Hazikaron is felt by every single citizen of the country.
In Israel, Yom Hazikaron smacks you in the face whenever you turn on the radio or the television. There is a thick cloud of sorrow everywhere you turn.
Outside of Israel, however, we need to look a little deeper. We wake up, go about our day, perhaps attend a special event at our synagogue or JCC. Sure, we WANT to feel the pain of the day. We WANT to show solidarity with Israelis. But for the most part, the majority of us just can’t get ourselves to that place, hard as we may try.
There’s no siren. No special programming on the radio. No one visiting the graves of their loved ones.
So how can we in the diaspora find meaning in Yom Hazikaron?
Well, these days it’s easier than ever, thanks to the power of the internet. We can listen to internet radio in our cars. We can watch Israeli TV online. And thanks to social media, we can connect to our beloved homeland like never before.
I’d like to suggest that you start on YouTube.
A video guaranteed to help you feel the pain of Yom Hazikaron
Each year, the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization brings together a number of children who have lost parents in the IDF, and produces a video of them singing with a well-known Israeli singer. This year, they sang a heart-wrenching version of”Yeled, V’aba, V’ima” (Child, Father, and Mother) along with Harel Ska’at and Eli Botner.