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Monday, April 19, 2010

Yom HaZicharon - Remembering the Fallen of Israel

Today is Yom HaZicharon in Israel, the day we remember the over 22,000 Israeli Soldiers who died defending our country and over 1,700 civilian terror victms.

For New Olims (new immigrants) who didn't grow up here it can be daunting, the grief "regular Israelis" feel on such a day sometimes makes us feel ashamed and unworthy to share a portion of this solemn day. Last night Itzchak Levine, an American Olim who served in the Israeli Army during the Gaza conflict last year, reminded us on-air that we don't show up at these ceremonies to say we've been a part of it, we show up to thank and show our respect to the soldiers who gave their lives so there CAN be a State of Israel for us to make Aliyah to. Itzchak's wisdom was much appreciated and we agree - you don't have to G*d forbid lose a friend or loved one to appreciate the tremendous sacrifice the Israeli people have made in the last 62+ years defending our Land and our right to exist here.

We'll be playing music and Torahs today that reflect the solemnity of the day - and remember that just as Shir HaMalot teaches us that joyful song pouring out of us like streams in the desert follow the long night of weeping, Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) immediately follows Yom HaZicharon. Our mourning indeed will turn into dancing (and BBQ) but we'll never forget those who gave their lives so we could be here today. May all their souls have an Aliyah and may their memory be treasured and recalled before the Throne of Heaven always.