All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Wednesday, 11 May 2005

21,194

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Today is Yom Hazikaron, Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and security personnel and 21,194 is the number of our boys and girls who have fallen defending the State of Israel since 1948. It is such a cold, unfeeling way of remembering them, because each one was a world in him/herself and we Jews don't like referring to one another as numbers.

That was for the Nazis.

So let's add some warmth to these terrible figures.

Twenty one thousand, one hundred and ninety four human beings have given up their futures, aspirations and dreams in defense of the land of Israel. These souls are no longer here to see the fruits of their labour, but their memory lives on - Not through these numbers, but within the very fibre of people they touched and enriched.

We, the living, have a duty to remember them and their sacrifice in the most appropriate manner and that is by living as Jews both in Israel and the Diaspora. May their parents, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, relatives and friends draw some comfort from the fact that today, the land of Israel is once more Jewish - sadly due to their terrible fate.

I know that G-d in Heaven is protecting these poor souls from any further harm. It is, with this in mind that we bow our heads and remember their memory in our hearts and minds.

The number is horrendous, because it is exists. Let us pray that we can indeed put a full stop to the figure from this day forward.

Tihiyena nafshotam tzurerot bitzeror hachayim - May their souls be bound in the everlasting light.

Amen.

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