Family outing, Memorial Day, contributing, Israel.

Proud that we managed to dress, pack up, and transport the kids to the Yom HaZicaron tekes in Tzur Hadassah tonight. And that my two-year-old stayed silent and un-startled throughout the siren. And that we managed to stay for the first 15 minutes.

Watching all those kids socialize up until they suddenly stopped for the siren… made me realize the enormity of what I’m contributing here. And what here is contributing to me.

It scares the shit out of me. But there’s no where else to be.

Note for next year: Teach my son that after the siren is over, it’s not a cause for shouting “Yay! Yay!”

 

Remembering to remember.

I’m lost in the new parent time warp. Completely forgot that Yom HaZicaron started last night until we heard the siren from my hospital room. Watched many of the nurses and patients stand still in the corridor while the Arabs and Charedis went about their ways. 

Yom HaZicaron has the potential to take on a totally different meaning when you are sitting in an Israeli hospital, watching your newborn son.

A small community Yom HaZicaron.

A small community Yom HaZicaron tekes is unlike the others I’ve been to in Israel. There is something about it. Maybe it sounds strange, but it’s almost like the smallness makes it more intense. At the kotel or Rabin square, you know why you are there… Or you feel the obvious magnitude of the occasion.

Hundreds of community members gathered in the school yard, with a small stage set up. Everyone was chatting, moving chairs, petting dogs. The MC was attempting to get everyone’s attention over the loud talking. He started to announce that in a few moments the siren would sound, would everyone turn off their phones, and please take their –

Everything stops for the Yom HaZicaron siren. Everything. Chatting, babies, dogs, microphones, MCs. This siren was really loud, the loudest I’ve ever heard it; it was also the quietest I’ve ever heard it.

There is something about a small Israeli community on Yom HaZicaron. When it is families that are surrounding you, you can feel the pain in the cracks between the crowd. They say everyone knows someone who has perished for the country – and here are the young families, remembering while moving on. A woman singing a song dedicated to her father, who died in ’67. A boy reading a rhyme for his shevet’s madrich, who perished in Lebanon. A mother-to-be reciting a poem for her brother, who was lost this past year.

The abruptness of the stop was what jerked me into Yom HaZicaron this year. Chatting, laughing, talking, cooing – stop.

There is something about a small Israeli community on Yom HaZicaron.

Giving blood for Yom Hazicaron + woman who needs platelets.

I figured I’d share this email I just sent to friends in the Jerusalem area, since the more people who can, the better:

Hey guys –

I meant to write this email to like two people and then I figured, why not let everyone know… I was thinking of donating blood in honor of Yom Hazicaron (thanks, Shira) and then my boss told me about a woman in Efrat who desperately needs a platelets donation from the right type (to battle her cancer)… Basically, at Hadassah Ein Karem in Jerusalem at the blood bank in the main building, they are collecting blood for testing for her; they will donate the blood anyway to those who need it, and then if you are the match, they will call you to take your platelets…

Her name is Paula Goldblum. You give her name so they know it’s for her testing (blood will be donated anyway, so you’re killing all kinds of birds with one stone). I want to go tomorrow or Wednesday, don’t necessarily need to go with someone, but I just thought if that sounds like something you’d want to do, go for it.

Have a wonderful Yom Haatzmaut.