Sunday, April 14, 2013

Yom Hazikaron

This evening is the evening of Memorial Day - Day of Remembrance, in Israel.
Erev Yom Hazikaron and I sit in The Pub on Solano Avenue in Albany, thousands of miles away from Israel. Once again, I am struck by the insignificance, or non-meaning, of time and space.
The Yom Kipur War is "our" war. Tragically in Israel each generation has their own particular war, or uprising, or terrorist attack. "Our" war, the Yom Kipur War was fought 40 years ago. Forty years, four decades, and yet it is as if it is happening now.  It is, and will be, forever imprinted in my cellular memory, dormant and ready to erupt at any moment.
This was the war that forever changed our lives, it shattered our youthful illusions of immortally, and Israel's illusion of invincibility.
Forty years and everything has changed, Israel, the kibbutz, the Middle East, us. We have matured, in fact, we have aged. My friends are now grandparents, some have become ill, or have died. Only the constant cycle of life and death continues.
In my heart Ray (Rafi) my husband, will remain forever young. I am sure he would not even imagine my life now. At the time of the war, I could not have imagined it.
Memories of sudden awful endings to life; war, accidents, shootings, certainly bring to my mind the entire meaning of life. I find I am confronted by thoughts of what have I done with my life. I am reminded that I do not have children, and so I have not secured my place in the future. Have I frittered my life away? Am I frittering my life away?
So Memorial Days are to remember those who sacrificed their lives, and I remember all of them, Arabs as well as Jews. Has anything been gained? Has anything been learned? or are we doomed to repeat these endless, tragic cycles in a ghastly repetition of wars and violence.

When I began writing this blog I did not think it would turn out like it has. What I wanted to say was that it was lovely coming home this afternoon and to hear the voice of a very dear friend on my answering machine. He called from London to say he had just returned from a memorial service, and he thought of me. We experienced the war together, and now it is so good to return home and be reminded that we are still connected. I know I am on the minds of my friends in Israel. I was, in fact, supposed to be there, but changed my plans to go later this year.
In America there is a strange phenomenon. No sooner than a tragedy has occurred, for example, like  the December 2012 shooting of the children in Sandy Hook, than the media states that the parents should move on with their lives. Witless reporters say idiotic things like "it is four months since this father lost his son, and he still cries like it had just happened." How absolutely inane, and how in denial of the impact of tragedies, deaths, and wars on our lives. No one ever forgets, and what is more, no one should forget.

And I did not mean for the blog to end like this, either ....

A small addendum, I hardly every get comments on my entries. The statistics show that people are reading my blogs, but there is so little response that I question myself (and we all know that statistics lie!) and think that perhaps I should stop blogging. I probably will continue, but I would sometimes like to know if there is anyone out there ....

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