Memorials are Everywhere

When traveling through Israel memorials are everywhere. When walking through the streets of Jerusalem remembrances are inescapable. I happened upon this memorial to those who fell in 1967’s battle for Jerusalem.

I approached to examine the names more closely and count the fallen. Were they killed here, in this exact spot in which I now stand? I do not imagine. Did they die in one moment? I do not know. For their families they are more than names etched on a memorial. They are sons, and brothers. They are husbands, and grandsons.

I discovered kittens playing at the soldiers’ feet.

Their nursing mother scurried off as I approached. The kittens were unafraid? Or unknowing?

Wars intrude on everyday life. Hanoch Levin writes:

When we go walking, there are three of us — You, me, and the war to come. When we sleep, there are three of us — You, me, and the war to come. You, me, and the war to come, The war that is coming for good. You, me, and the war to come, Bringing eternal rest. When we smile in a loving moment, The war to come smiles with us. While we wait in the delivery room, The war to come waits with us. You, me, and the war to come, The next war, which will bring us good. You, me, and the war to come, Creating eternal rest. When they knock on the door, there are three of us — You, me, and the war to come. And when all this is finally over there will again be three of us — The war to come, you and the photograph. You, me, and the war to come, The war that is coming for good. You, me, and the war to come, Creating eternal rest.

Today might very well be Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, but in Israel every day presents memorials and remembrances. Every day presents the worry of the war to come.

Israel has become far too expert in building remembrances to the fallen.


Originally published at www.rabbimoskowitz.com on May 1, 2017.

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