Monday, April 23, 2007

Yom this and Yom that

It's been busy. Yom Ha'shoah - Holocaust Memorial Day. Yom Ha'zi'karon - Memorial Day. Yom Ha'atzmaut - Independance Day. As I write this, the music playing somewhere live in the neighborhood is filtering in - Yom Ha'atzmaut, Moroccan style with oud music and trilling vocals and that particular kind of male tenor that you always here in Middle Eastern music of this variety. Ira and the big boys just left for town - there are live concerts, folk dancing, and fun of all sorts to be seen and had and they decided to check out the fun. I'm home with Akiva.

It's basically one 'tekes'/ceremony after another for about a week and a half. There are the official State ones, school ones, neighborhood ones and tonight, a program at Shira Hadasha. Minha services at 6:15, followed by a Yom Ha'zi'karon service - it was lovely. Poems and readings with musical accompaniment and most grueling, people stood and remembered names of people they knew (family and friend and extended) who had been killed in wars or terrorist activities and when they died. It was quite poignant to have people stand and remember a friend or cousin who was killed in '67 and '73 and even one woman who remembered a brother killed in '48. I thought about my friend Tzippi, who's fiance was killed in '82 in Lebanon, and Michael Levin, killed this past summer in Lebanon. Levin, was a Ramah Poconos boy, a friend of my nephew Benjy. He was featured in a DVD made by another Ramahnik, Sally Mitlas, and the DVD was shown on Israeli TV tonight. Levin was what's called a lone soldier as his parents and sibs are back in America and he was here on his own as a citizen and soldier. His mother, in Israel for the ceremony at Har Herzl - the military cemetary in J'lem, said that when they came in for his funeral last summer, they expected a small group, as they don't have alot of family here and when they pulled up at the cemetary they saw many people and wondered if there were alot of burials that day. All those people were there for Michael. They didn't know him but they wanted to pay their respects to this guy, here alone, without his family, giving everything to the country - his life.

What's interesting is that at the end of the service, we morphed into Yom Ha'atzmaut and did a festive Ma'ariv service, complete with Hallel and song and happiness and it felt good. It felt really good. I sang and was happy.
Chag Sameach.

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