I know all too well that we do not like to deal with pain but we have to. From time immemorial painful commemorative events seem to be the Jewish nation’s second nature.
I know that the losses the State of Israel has been paying since her inception are heavy and there is no end in sight. However, they need to be perpetually respected, memorialized and attended.
These past two weeks have made it clear that the Arab-Palestinians have launched a full scale intifada on our capital city Jerusalem. That means more peace seeking Jews will be sacrificed on the altar of life in their sovereign nation state Israel, while willing and wanting to share her with these war mongers and destruction seeking Arabs, who happened to be there but the country is not theirs.
Last night, at Young Israel North Beverly Hills (YINBH) synagogue, the consulate General of Israel, held a very special gathering for the bereaved families in Los Angeles. Their sons and daughters sacrificed their lives for the ongoing struggle so Israel can prevail and prosper.
Israel Consul General, Mr. David Siegel spoke and even sang.
Rabbi Pini Dunner of YINBH, Mr. Aryeh Muallem, Deputy Director General with the Ministry of Defense and Head of bereaved families and commemorations division, Evie and Stuart Steinberg, their son Max z”l made the ultimate sacrifice when he fought in the Protective Edge War in Gaza and Colonel Yafa Mor, Head of IDF Casualty Department spoke.
Shai Abramson, IDF Senior Cantor and Nati Bar Am, YINBH synagogue cantor sang.
Attendance was anemic; it seems the “otherness” was a factor. Instead of an overly packed hall, it was not. That hurts; we, Jews, cannot afford the “otherness,” it must be taken out of our approach as it is not good for our existence. We are ALL one nation, the Jewish nation, and our pain is collective.
There were speeches, there were words and movie clips of pain and tears, but together it is somewhat easier to bear. There were also some moments of joy, a reason to celebrate the thriving Jewish life we are experiencing.
The state of Israel was re-established and re-founded by farmers and intellectuals who found themselves surrounded by evil and barbarian enemies who are jealous of the Jewish state’s accomplishments. They refuse to recognize the one and only Jewish state. They wake up each day conniving how to kill a Jew and they go to bed each night planning how to have a Judenrein state of their own, to be established on Jewish land.
So Israel has no option but to defend herself and defend she does. Israel has one of the best and among the mightiest armies in the world. Though wars is not Israel’s option, Israeli-Jews and volunteer Jews the world over go to fight them and they fight them with might. They win over them and they continue elevating above them to continue building the Jewish homeland like no other country does.
Empires came and went, their armies, who fought for them came and went. We, Jews, on the other hand, have a partnership with God, our army partners with God; God wants us to be in our homeland and He helps protect the land He promised to his children.
A loss of a Jewish soldier is the tragedy of every Jew.
We live in an era of great confusion of what it really means to be a Jew. To me that means to cherish and value every inch of the Land of Israel. If we decide to give an inch of it away to those who have no title to it, it must be on our terms, not theirs. It must be for having everlasting peace and security.
The least we can do for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice is to remember them and memorialize them for eternity.
The Hall of the Fallen is under construction these days in Israel; in two years it will be opened to the public. In this sacred hall, each and every person who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the state of Israel will be honorably memorialized.
Just the way each year over 1,000 people attend the FIDF (Friends of IDF) annual gala; the same people can attend the event which commemorates those who gave their life while serving in the IDF.
For next year, please God, I am calling on the entire Jewish community, I mean the entire Jewish community of Los Angeles, to show up, to weep and show joy together for our ultimate sacrifices, our life and our future.