Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Yom HaZikaron-A Day To Remember

Avigayil called me earlier today. I asked her why she sounded so 'off'. "Zeh kazeh yom moozar hayom" she replied. (its a weird day). duh. It's Yom Hazikaron. gulp.

Israel Independence Day celebrates the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. The day preceding this celebration is devoted to the memory of those who gave their lives for the achievement of the country's independence and its continued existence.
The total number of soldiers and security personnel who fell since the War of Independence is 20,368. The total including those who fell in the struggle for the state before 1948 is 21,954. (This number includes disabled IDF veterans who later died from their wounds and non-IDF personnel who fell in the line of duty)

On This Day, We Honor The Memory of the Young Men & Women Who Gave Their Lives For The Creation And Security of The Jewish State. With their death they commanded us life!

I have an additional 5 soldiers that I daven for everyday. Are they dead? I do not know. Their names are Ron Arad, Zecharia Baumel, Guy Chever, Yehuda Katz & Tzvi Feldman. They are hanging on a dog tag that I have kept on my neck for nearly 2 years now. How can I put it aside when I am in the shower or sleeping? I doubt their families put them aside when relaxing. The piece of metal and what it reminds me of, helps me think in the right perspective.

Last year, I went out with Michal searching for any tekes we found worthy enough. Beggars can't be choosy and we landed up in Lod. We were so appreciative to be disturbed from our pleasant taxi ride and stand outside the vehicle when the siren rang out. We then heard from the mayor and from family members, heard 'hatikva' and 'al kol eileh', heard crying and singing. Saw flowers, saw salutes, saw tributes. I cannot fathom staying sane in a country where everyone knows someone who died. Where nearly everyone is, was or will be a soldier. We then join a local 'festival'. I buy a white and blue ball. We hum along to the music. And then we realize that it's sefirah and so we go home.

Hapitaron HaYachid? Moshiach ben David!


Scraps said...


You said it all...

wandering said...

may all the Jewish blood be avenged! may the rest of the chayalim who are sacrificing their lives every day for our holy land, be protected by Hashem.

Nemo said...

There is something quite stirring about being present during the sirens. I remember exactly where I was. I think that its proper that during that moment one should say Tehillim rather than stand silently. Stand as a matter of respect, but say Tehillim as a matter of honor.

the sabra said...

very true nemo. i just gathered my family here in shmutz i mean chutz la'aretz and explained to em what yom hazikaron is all about and we all said some tehillim together.

amen wandering!

wishes outspoken said...

actually nemo, you brought up a point which is very close to my heart. as a matter a fact i think i will dedicate my yom hazikaron poem to you.

Nemo said...

Thanks so much, my cheeks are gushing red {maybe that's cause of the baseball game, but let's assume it's blushing}.

There is also a Halacha reason to saying Tehillim. Many {Charedi} people are adamantly opposed to pausing for the minute of silence. They say {and they might be very right} that this is an Issur of Chukas Akum because many countries do it to honor their fallen and it has no source in Torah. Therefore, to avoid and Safek, it is certainly advisable that one turn it into a holy minute where one wispers a prayer for the Neshamos of the heros.

Look, I'm really not justifying this being prohibited. I also don't mean to justify those that purposely meander about the intersections in a show of resent to those standing. I don't like the way that some people take anything that seems remotely Zionist and find some way to say that its Assur.

I just say that to satisfy everyone, stand in respect and whisper Tehillim which does much more than silent reflection.

the sabra said...

hmmm good point(s)

Amishav said...

When I was a kid, they used to sell bracelets for the American soldiers who were held as POW's in Vietnam. I used to wear mine until I was told that the soldier had come home. What you are doing with the dogtags reminds me of that. Is it possible to purchase those dogtags- maybe some for the soldiers that are still missing from Lebannon? Thanks!

the sabra said...

um the dogtags CAN be purchased but they are pretty hard to come by. especially the 'newer' ones (that have only 5 names vs 7). when you get to israel, gd willin, look in 'rikushet'.

(p.s. did you click on that link about the history of the 5 soldiers?)

wishes outspoken said...

nemo, if you want to be machmir, then fine. but i'm not going to worry myself over remaining silent because:
a) theoretically speaking if these people had it their way and the law in israel would be that instead of a moment of silence there would be a tefillah (thats if they would admit that there should be anything at all for those who gave up their lives) then the majority of israel wouldn't do ANYTHING. i'd rather do something together as one nation, then only a percentage doing a tefilah because of such a far-fetched problem.
i assume your argument would be that if we were doing something against halacha then it isn't worth it. fine. i'm not going to argue with halacha. but why can't there ever be ONE THING WE AS A PEOPLE COULD DO TOGETHER without the "defenders of torah" screaming murder and predicting that this event will bring upon us the end of the world?!?! why is it that when organizing the "chain" from gush katif to yerushalayim -an event that the whole point of it was to show how we are united for gush katif- the organizers had to distribute two different flyers -each one saying that everyone would sing a song TOGETHER- but each flyer said it would be a different song!! and that's when we're dealing with the frume world itself!! -?! why can't there ever be a poster announcing an event without another one plastered on top denouncing it in the name of everything holy?!
can't the importance of achdus ever override some ch'shash?! i mean nemo we've been saying tehilim for centuries, but lets see one event that will unite us as brothers. i think THAT would bring moshiach alot faster then tehilim would.
i think that there are to many holy people sitting in mea shearim all day with nothing to do other then find the next problem out there so that they could write up a pashkvil with as many holy signatures on it as possible. funny how they always find problems with things like remembering our heros. as if hey would know how important it is when they themselves never served in the army. i think they would do alot more good if they would go out and find a job.
remember your post about rebuke? about how you can't stand people who think its their mission in life to tell everyone off? well allow me to tell you what i can't stand. i can't stand those people who whenever someone wants to suggest something BOOM they come up with some halachik ch'shash. this shitah! that shitah! can't you let us live for once?! is that what hashem wants from us? to walk around on shabbos on pins and needles?!to me thats not much of a day of rest!

anyhow back to the subject at hand
b) even if there is a prohibition here (which i find very hard to believe that you could be doing something like the goiyim by NOT doing something (but i'm sure that hlacha machine in between your ears will come up with some example or another)) i'd still do it. for the sake of what it represents (see my post) if i have to go to gehenim for this act of solidarity so be it and let it be the worst reason. and i hope the sabra doesn't mind me saying this- but i think i could stand behind you on this one. since your wearing your dog tag (which i don't think has any source in halacha either) is of the same idea.
zu raq daati

Nemo said...

Mate, I didn't make it up and there is certainly no Halachik machine between my ears. This wasn't even my opinion {I stood silently!}.

My point was simply that when one pulls over to the side of the road, and hops out of their car for those two minutes, rather than futily standing silent, they should take the opportunity to say a silent Mizmor Tehillim. You surely know what the Tzemach Tzedek said about the power of Tehilim- that if we knew the potency of the words, we would say it all day. Howabout the potency of two minutes?

I didn't say that we've got to make a Hafgana and that every person on the road must agree with us, my point is that WE as Frum Jews have to prioritize. Do you see a contradiction? I never said not to take part, I said to look at the situation realisticly, and utilize it accordingly.

Just some side points:

1. Your logic in B} is inherently flawed- You ARE doing an action when you stop. It's irrelevant really.

2. In general, if something is a Halacha, then it is the command for a Jew, whether it feels good and right or not. If there are Rabbonim that say that something is Assur, while others say that it's Muttar, people must accord with their Rabbonim and not question the Rabbis' motivations.

3. Whether the holiday is well meaning or not, it is a Zionist establishment. If you are a Frum Zionist, with the Poskim of Rav Kook, Hetzog, etc. then I have no Taayna against you, just a theological difference.

If you are Lubavitch, then you certainly have to do a bit of research on the matter before deciding that it's entirely all right. Technically speaking, the date is meaningless in the sense that every day of the year should hold such prominence for the fallen. But, because people do recognize these dates, and it is certainly an important reason to reflect, and in order to make a Kiddush Hashem, we can, should and must join in {besides Hey Iyar}. But there is nothing wrong with saying a bit of Tehillim! And to do that while all people {Tinokos Shenishba'u} are standing together and focused, is absolutely amazing.