Last year I got a new perspective on our national day of remembrance.
I went with Sara and Neta to the Kiryat Anavim cemetery (we did not know then that a few months later we would be privileged to set up a new branch of the Mechina in the kibbutz) and I experienced Memorial Day there with a different feeling.
Immediately after we sung Hatikvah, all the people around me began to sing the Palmach anthem, and suddenly I noticed a number of much older people standing up with great pride and singing the anthem with great excitement. Immediately after the ceremony I gathered with many others to hear a bit about the difficult period of The War of Independence, and they told us about the difficult battles that took place in the whole area, and suddenly, in the course of things, I had a realization.
I was born in Misgav Ladach Hospital in Jerusalem's Katamon neighborhood
I grew up in Efrat, Gush Etzion
I got married in Ma'aleh Hahamisha
I live in the Gonenim (Katamonim) neighborhood of Jerusalem
I play with my daughter in San Simon Park
I will also add this year the establishment of the Mechina and preparatory program for volunteers coming to Machal, both of which we set up at Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim.
All these places are actually sites of difficult battles that thanks to the courage of many fighters I have been able to live my whole life as a proud Israeli Jew.
Last year I felt a special exhilaration that reminded me that we have a very heavy responsibility. It's very easy to live our lives now when everything is taken for granted and not really appreciate the good we have. But it is our duty to remember the fallen and their heritage and to live our lives for the people and the land for all those who sacrificed their lives for them!
I will conclude this week with Ofer Mendelovitch, the father of Oz Mandelovitz, my only combatant, a Golani infantryman who was killed in the Tzuk Eitan:
"My friends call to me and say "may the next few days pass easily "... similar to saying " have an easy fast "...
So the people of Israel should know that in fact, Memorial Day for us is on a daily basis and davka when Memorial Day arrives, for me at least, in my "experience" in the last two years since I became a bereaved father, davka the days between Yom Hashoah and t'kuma (resurrection/rebirth) are "embracing days" in which I feel the entire Jewish people are with me and remember and loves and embraces and comforts.
Davka on these days the people of Israel unite with us to try to feel our pain a little, a sort of exaltation.
The people of Israel manage to recharge my life for another year.
Thank you, the people of Israel . "There are none other like us in the world"
Written by Ofer Mendelovitz, father of Oz Mendelovitch who was killed during Tsuk Eitan.