It's been a long time since I posted-- over a year, actually. I've been thinking for a while that I want to start writing in this blog again and...well, just kept being busy.
Today, being the start of Yom HaZikaron, is an appropriate time to re-start this adventure-- especially since my real aliyah plan started with a program that is named in memory of someone who we remember today: Yochai Porat, z"l [may his memory be blessed].
I never met him; by the time I participated in the MDA Overseas Volunteer Program it had already been named in his memory. He was the first coordinator of the program before it was really a formal program and I've had the privilege to watch a film, Someday Soldiers, that someone I met through a Birthright Alumni event (way back when, when it was just starting up), Micah Cohler, made about Yochai as his friend and instructor. Yochai was killed by a sniper while doing reserve duty as a paramedic in the IDF.
Brings me to the next person I want to mention here: Barkai Shor. He was killed in Mivtza Tzuk Eitan (Operation Protective Edge, in English). Barkai was killed at the end of this past July, protecting Israel as part of his regular army service. I worked with him on Thursday afternoon/evening shifts out of one of the satellite MDA stations in Jerusalem. I was in the States at the time and I read the name and thought, "No, no, that's not Barkai Shor that I work with. There's got to be another medic in Jerusalem by that name." And then I saw the picture and it wasn't another medic in Jerusalem named Barkai Shor, it was the Barkai Shor that I worked with. Today we remember him as well.
So many people, so many names. 23,320 men and women killed while serving their country; 2,538 men, women, children, and babies killed in terror attacks. We will remember them all and will not forget their names, who they were, and why they were killed. May their memories be for a blessing. Amen.