Sunday night begins Israel’s memorial day-Yom HaZikaron. It is a day of solemn memorial in Israel. Not the American Memorial day at all. The sirens blow across the land and the country stops. Cars and buses. Everyone gets out of their vehicle to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the State of Israel. There is a beautiful ceremony at the Kotel, the Western Wall with parents and families of those who have died.
Perhaps it takes on a more urgent observance because of the requirement of military service by Israel’s young people. Following high school both young men and women enter military service. Perhaps it is different because the threats to Israel’s existence are real every day. Syria is re-arming Hezbollah and Hamas with Scud missles. Iran funds Hamas and Hezbollah and smuggles weapons to them. Both are in violation of U.N. agreements. Iran threatens Israel with its growing nuclear expertise as the world watches.
Perhaps because in its young life, the State of Israel has been almost always at a state of war or heightened military readiness since the declaration of independence in 1948.
For all these reasons and more to the Israeli community world-wide and to the Jewish community no matter to the right or the left on issues in Israel -Yom Hazikaron is a day to remember.
If you are in Los Angeles Sunday night April 18th, the official Los Angeles memorial service will be held at Stephen S. Wise Temple at 5:45 pm. Sponsored by the consulate of Israel this will be an opportunity to mourn and to show solidarity with those who have served in the IDF and those whose families have lost a loved one and to show solidarity with Israel.