Yom HaZikaron 5773

This evening and tomorrow, until nightfall, is Israel’s Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron. I heard that the day was going to be very different than the United States’ Memorial Day, which is usually celebrated as a day off with a trip to the beach and some barbecue. I grew up visiting cemeteries every Memorial Day with my grandfather who would place American flags at the graves of all our family members that served in the military, which is quite a few. Even with all the time spent at different grave sites, I never thought of the day as a somber day. Israel’s observance of Yom Hazikaron is similar to the observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was just about a week ago. Many restaurants and stores have closed this evening. The only way to know it isn’t Shabbat is from the amount of cars still driving through the streets.

After watching Israelis of various backgrounds observing a minute of silence on Holocaust Remembrance Day, I knew I wanted to get a better view for the moment of silence for Memorial Day. The first siren for the day was at 8:00 p.m. Just a few minutes before I left my apartment to walk towards a park that was filled with people and near a major intersection. With just a couple of minutes to spare I found my way to the top of a bridge overlooking the park and many Jerusalem streets below. I watched cars and people pass. The siren began. I knew it was coming, that was why I was standing on the bridge after all, yet I was taken completely by surprise. My heart skipped a beat and I stopped breathing for a split second as the stillness took over the city below me. Balls stopped bouncing. Bicycle wheels halted, and dare I believe that even the dogs stopped in their tracks. As far as my eyes could see, people stood on their feet in absolute silence. Cars abandoned. Conversations paused. For that minute, it felt as even thoughts were suspended. It was truly one of the most moving sights I have ever witnessed. It was one of those moments where I am more grateful than I thought I ever could be to be in Israel.

Thank you to all the soldiers and other service men and women who have made it possible for not only me but millions to call Israel “Home”.

Being Present and Grateful for this Moment.

This quote reminds me of the importance of living in the moment. It is tiring to constantly be fully present in moments in life. Sometime you need to watch t.v., eat, and write a paper all at the same time for time purposes, but also so you can “check out” for a while. Never the less, it is important to try and recognize each moment for its own meaning and not just a bridge to whatever is next.

Right now, I am standing on the edge of a moment- waiting for Shabbat and waiting for my graduation. Both moments are highly anticipated, but I will remember that this moment also have its own meaning. Who knows if I will live to see the next moment? I am grateful for this moment- sitting at my desk typing these thoughts out.

Let the moment live its life to its fullest, and when the time comes, let the moment pass peacefully away.

Emuna Daily

“Every moment has two faces: It is a moment defined by the past from which it extends and by the future to which it leads.  And it is a moment for itself, with its own meaning, purpose and life. Don’t kill a moment.” – Bringing Heaven Down to Earth by Tzvi Freeman

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