Tuesday, May 10, 2005

same old

its yom hazikaron this evening - memorial day for israel's soldiers and victims of terror.

many people i know dont do anything to mark the day apart from stopping for the sirens. maybe that just means nothing publically. whos to know what they're thinking and who am i to judge. so bygones, but i guess for me an action is required and my action of choice it so go to a local ceremony in the neighborhood i live in.

i've been attending this ceremony for 10 years. it used to be held in the basketball courts just by my (now) house. now its a couple of minutes further down the road outside the local community center. i like it. its not pretentious, even slightly boring, yet familiar and warm.

i like it because its genuine and what this day is all about. community coming together to mark shared loss. the personal and the communal are mixed well as representatives from local organizations such as jerusalem municipality, youth movements and ulpan etzion offer their thoughts together as the father of a woman soldier stabbed in a terrorist incident in these very streets 15 years ago recites kaddish.

the crowd is mixed - religious and secular, ashkenazi and sephardi, rich and poor, old and young, sabras and olim. the list of some 50 names which is read out of locals people killed in action, training accident or terrorist attack since the founding of the state i sense is less diverse.

i'm not a political being so perhaps this is why this day appeals to me - this is not a day to look for solutions. its just a time grieve the craziness of it all without laying blame. as i come home to a television full of home movies about fallen soldiers and terror victims this is the time to put politics aside and just realize how much potential we're wasting.

if these brothers, sisters, sons and daughters whose lives were cut tragically short were really such incredible people then there must be many more people out there who are still alive that we need to celebrate now. and if somehow hearing their stories connects us to our country and our people lets search for more postive ways to do this daily.

Yehi Zichram Baruch