Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No title for this one because there are no words.

Today I attended my first Yom Hazikaron ceremony as an Israeli.  

It is hugely different to be commemorating this day as a citizen and not just as a Jew.  Standing there under the bright blue sky, the breeze, and the butterflies and birds flying overhead, in the Modiin cemetery where the chayalim are buried, I had so many feelings whirling around at once that it was hard to keep them straight - gratittude that I was able to become an Israeli, gratittude and deep sadness for the soldiers that gave their lives, pride in the young people who serve proudly, fear and incredible pride for my own grandchildren who will one day become members of the armed forces, etc. 

It was hard to sing Hatikvah because of all of these deep emotions which had welled up inside of me.  I kept thinking of, and thanking, my parents, a"h, for whom Israel was a symbol of strength and solace.

But most of all, I felt an incredible sense of belonging, and of being in the right place, finally, after all of these years.  No matter how many times you visit (and visiting is great, don't get me wrong) when you are a citizen and this is where you live it feels altogether different. 

When we arrived in Ulpan, our teacher had already lit a yahrzeit candle.  We spent the first few hours in Ulpan studying the wars since 1948.  We also learned that to date almost 23,000 people have died defending Israel or as victims of terror.

Hashem Yikom Damam.

1 comment:

  1. This has been one of the top 5 emotional days since I've made aliyah. I can't even describe how it feels.