It was a both a painful and amazing week in Israel. We mourned the loss of every soldier who sacrificed his life for the Jewish Nation, and the next day we celebrated Israel's 70th birthday. Only in Israel!
On Tuesday night we gathered at the Beit Achim to share the pain of the friends and family we lost. I want to share a part of the speech that Gili made that night. I think it will take you inside of our minds and hearts.
"Twenty three thousand, Six hundred and forty five. This is the number of Israeli's who fell protecting Israel since 1948. Since this number was published just a few days ago, another from the armored brigade died on the Egyptian border.
How? How can such a small country stand this test of life? How does God place us day after day in the most difficult test? There is no answer that can console and satisfy the relatives who have lost one thing is beyond precious to them, their own children, their bothers and sisters, their parents.
Tens of thousands of heroes, who each left behind an entire story of life, a story of loss, of a bereaved family, widows, orphans, and people who miss them so much. A longing that does not stop even as time and the world continues. And again, every year the family gathers today, Yom HaZikaron, the memorial day for the fallen of Israel.
My dear brothers, the people who were closest to being buried under a stone in a military plot are us. The distance between those bullets that pierced our bodies and the shards that stuck in our hearts is so small that there is not really a medical or logical explanation as to how we were left alive.
But we're here! We are here! How much difficulty, how much frustration, how many of us thought about why did he die and not me? We were right next to each other. How many of us thought: maybe if I were standing on the other side I could have saved him. So many thoughts in our hearts!
But if we stayed here in this world, and lived, we probably have more to do in our lives.
On this day, the expression of “their death has given us life” becomes some kind of a national will, for without faith in it, how can we continue to live, continue to exist in our holy state?
On this day, we will strengthen the bereaved families, remember and unite with the tens of thousands of dead who gave us life – "and we chose life."
I Think this is why Yom Haatzmut is literally right after Yom HaZikaron, and that we rejoice right after we cry. Am Yisrael Chai!
Shabbat Shalom from Israel,