Monday, May 5, 2014

Understanding Israeli Independence, No Fairy Tale

One of the many "some people love it, while others hate it" thing about Israel is the immediate connection between Memorial Day and Israeli Independence Day. Independence Day follows what's officially called "Remembrance Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism" as both parts of the same breath. On Memorial Day, we suck in the air to try to keep in the tears and moans. On Independence Day, we let it out with relief and joy.

Having known too many of the fallen, the victims of enemy Arab armies and Arab terrorism that never shows even a hint of mercy or humanity, I consider this Israeli custom, actually a law, to be very suitable. It's a Jewish custom to visit the graves of ancestors before marrying, and the Jewish Month of Elul, which is before Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year is a traditional time to also visit family graves, so of course before celebrating the State of Israel's greatest holiday we should remember that our independence wasn't handed on a silver platter. It didn't drop from the Heavens the way some Jews claim the Third Temple will appear.

G-d supports us with His version of "matching funds."  When we make great efforts, G-d chips in and makes His miracles. That's why the State of Israel exists, and that's why we have been victorious in the wars against us. The fact that we build in memory of the dead, and we don't flee and give up to our enemies has kept the State of Israel going these past decades.

I'm not saying that we and the Israeli Government are doing a perfect job. Unfortunately, we're far from it. With G-d's help, we'll all improve ourselves.

Last night before the Shiloh Memorial for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Arab Terror Ceremony began, I walked through the exhibit that had been set up about Shiloh citizens and relatives of others who had died in Israeli-Arab wars, the IDF or were killed by Arab terrorists.

Within a few minutes, I couldn't speak. Memories and thoughts were bombarding my mind. All of the pain, all of those wonderful people dead.

May their memories be a blessing and may G-d avenge their blood.

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