Saturday, October 3, 2015

Again my heart is torn

My daughter's birthday party was Friday morning, scheduled to start an hour before the double funeral for Eitam and Naama Henkin, the parents who were murdered by being shot at point-blank range in front of their four children (ages 9 years to 4 months old) while on their way back from a party with friends. My daughter's party went on until she was ready for her nap.

When I woke up (to my daughter's yell of, "Mommy! Morning!") and then heard the news, I debated briefly if I should cancel the party-- after all, the country was mourning  (despite it being a religious holiday, during which outward mourning signs are not permitted. But how can you not be torn inside?). I decided against it for the very simple reason of we were celebrating life. Celebrating the past year and wishing her many more years of health, happiness, joy, excitement for life, and peace. And that's how we work in this country-- we celebrate life. So I hugged her and kissed her and thanked G-d that I am able to be here for her and she is here with us. And then went to clean up, set up, and decorate her cake.

Her party was lovely.

May this year be filled with health, happiness, joy, understanding, exciting discoveries, and peace for her and the rest of the world.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yom HaZikaron תשעה/2015

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.