Yom Hazikaron, 5780

I am told there is a section of the military cemetery on Har Herzl in Israel, where there are unmarked graves. These are the graves of Holocaust survivors who came from Europe and fought in the War of Independence in 1948. They had no relatives. All their relatives had been murdered. No one knew who they were. Only that they gave their lives for a dream that they never saw themselves. Since 1860, before Israel’s founding 23,816 Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians z”l have died defending the Land, according to figures released by the Defence Ministry on Friday. Another 4,166 terror victims, z”l, are also being remembered. Of them the words of Psalm 88:5-6 resonate: I have become as one with no strength – abandoned among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, who You remember no more. Yet we are also told in Psalm 9:12-13 to Sing praises to Adonai, who dwells in Zion. Declare His deeds among the people. He who avenges blood remembers. He will not forget the cry of the afflicted. They did not die in vain. Tomorrow we celebrate Israel’s Independence Day – Yom Haatzmaut!

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