Last week was Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) and today is Yom HaZicharon (Memorial Day to honor and remember those killed while serving in the army and by terrorists). For each day, sirens wail across the country for a minute. Literally everything comes to a standstill (unless you’re not a Zionirst in which case you on Yom HaZicharon, you davka continue with your day during the sirens). Buses, cars and trucks all stop and engines are turned off. Everyone stops whatever they are doing. Everyone stands motionless and bows their head. The nursery across the street from me that is filled with kids playing outside all day is suddenly quiet. The barking dogs and screeching cats in my neighborhood cannot be heard.
I find it an extraordinary and powerful experience for the nation to collectively stop, remember, and honor. It’s serious and respectful. War and terrorism are part of everyone’s lives here. There’s collective grief, trauma and sorrow that are reflected upon, discussed and processed as a nation on these days via events, social media, news, and socially from the political right and left, religious and secular, Zionist and anti-Zionist, Arab and Jewish (who fits into which categories is not always neatly delineated). Continue reading