Israel@60 Mission: An indelible memory

We’re standing at Tel Fah’r, with members of Kibbutz Snir, to commemorate Yom Hazikaron. Tel Fah’r, near the top of the Golan Heights, is the site of one of the most difficult and decisive battles of the 1967 War. Below us is spread the whole Hula Valley, with the Gallilee Mountains on the other side. As the sun sets and the sliver of the new moon glistens above the valley, we can see the lights of Kiryat Shmona, Metulla, and dozens of kibbutzim, moshavim, towns and villages in the valley below. And, just beyond Metulla, we can also see the lights of villages in Lebanon. It’s Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for all of its fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. At 8:00 p.m. the sirens sound all over the State of Israel; and we can hear them successively, one right after the other, as they begin and end in the valley below. Everything stops - everything; and everyone stands in silence for a very long minute. Then the ceremony begins. The head of the community welcomes the guests from San Francisco, in Hebrew and English. The remainder of the ceremony is all in Hebrew: readings, songs, and the lighting of a torch and a memorial spelled out in flames to one of their own, with a message in Hebrew, including the word “Yizkor” - remember. Most of us can’t understand Hebrew, and yet we “understand” - the mother who participates in the ceremony, the families and the community gathering to honor their fallen heroes. And we understand a few words at the end, when the speaker asks, “until when?” and “why?” We’ve shared an intimate moment with our Israeli family. Yet we can’t truly understand, and we certainly can’t provide any answers. The only things we can do are stand with and support Israel with our love, our energy and our donations. We can be here. We must be here. And that’s why we are here, on the Israel@60 Mission.

Betty Adler

Categories: Israel


May 10, 2008


The Federation