This post is for: Batya
Last night we went to a Yom HaZikaron service at RPRY, my children’s Jewish Day School. The school is in Edison, NJ, which borders Highland Park (it is only an eight minute walk from our home). The evening began with a memorial of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva students that died in the recent terror attack. Because my son is in eighth grade, he was part of the ceremony.
The boys entered on one side of the gym holding yahrzeit (memorial) candles; the girls came in on the other side of the gym. In small groups they came up to the stage and told a little of the story of each of the dead students. On the wall behind the stage was a slide show of the each of the murdered students.
Just by coincidence, my son spoke about Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar of Shiloh, where Batya is from. So I dedicate this post to Batya.
My five-year-old daughter startled as they sounded a siren similar to the one heard in Israel on Yom HaZikaron. “What’s that?” she looked up at me. “Shhh,” I replied, “I’ll explain later.” When the siren ended, I explained to her how people in Israel stop for one minute when they hear the siren. To remember the fallen soldiers, I think I said. I don’t know how much she understood, but I tried.
Later, a speaker from Israel who is visiting for a year spoke about the progress and problems in Israel. I missed most of the talk because I went out with my five-year-old. He said he is considered an Israeli in America and an American in Israel (like Batya, he came to Israel 38 years ago). There was also a special ma’ariv service (which I also missed). I was outside talking with some women about the ridiculous choices the New York Times makes for front page news from Israel on Yom HaZikaron (one of the women told the other woman, who had just come off the plane that morning from a visit to Israel, that she shouldn’t be subscribing to the New York Times!).
Happy Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day).