Monday, May 9, 2011
Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut Reflections
Today was Yom Hazikaron in Israel, a day when we remember our fallen soldiers and the victims of terror. Sirens wail, tears flow, there are thanks and speeches and memories and prayers. I talked to the kids a little bit about the significance of all this. I think for many Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut(Israel Independence Day) that follows right after, is a time of reflection abot the past and about the future, about sacrifice, about love of Israel, about this amazing gift that G-d has given us. As I am writing this, I can see the fireworks out of my window. Tomorrow many people will be off, there will be barbeques and celebrations. But to me, it's about all the miracles that G-d has granted us and continues to grant us in this holy and beautiful land that is Israel. Sure, it's great to once again have a country of our own after centuries of unrelenting longing, to have an army of our own, to have Jews from all walks of life and all parts of the world gathered here all together. But our strength is not derived from political entities or military prowess. Our strength comes from our spirit, from our dedication to our G-d and His Torah. May it be His will that we merit His continued miraculous protection. May there be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more aching hearts. May we merit true peace which can only come from being true to one's G-d and to our Jewish identity as He envisions it. May there be no more folly and foolishness. May G-d continue to bless us in our endeavors and may we merit to contribute to building this special land in whichever capacity we are destined to, whether by learning Torah, serving in the army, in other professional capacities, by building Jewish families and educating the next generations to be proud Torah Jews, etc. There are many ways indeed, Yaakov (Jacob) had 12 sons, each one unique, so there are many ways to build this Land. There is work to be done and with G-d's help we can do it and make it wonderful. We have to be thankful for the past and hopeful for the future, give credit where credit is due and understand that all the sacrifice was not in vain and that we perpetuate the memory of those holy souls by living for what they died for. G-d doesn't perform miracles for nothing (R' Moshe Feinstein) we have to push forward even when things are hard as G-d continues to gives us plenty to be happy about and be grateful for.