Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yom HaZikaron: On Memory

The Word Well writes about today, Yom HaZikaron:
On Memory
Is a memory something you have or something you’ve lost? – Woody Allen (Spoken by Gena Rowlands (as Marion) in ‘Another Woman’)

Today we think of who we do not have and why, and then what that lack demands of us.

Tomorrow, about how we celebrate being alive to meet those demands.

Today is Memorial Day in Israel, honoring fallen soldiers and victims of terror, observed here a day before Independence Day. The connection is essential since it is widely recognized that without the former, celebrating the latter would be impossible, while always hoping that one day, this will not be the case. That there will be no more names on next year’s list of the fallen. It is, in other words, a sacred day we wish with all our hearts we didn’t need to observe, and in fact grapple with its necessity all the time.

Here’s something I wrote about potential loss and war when my husband was commanding an APC in Lebanon II. I was essentially the least supportive war wife ever, because I didn’t believe in the war. I later learned, from the Disney franchise of all places, that Hassan Nasrallah was counting on people like me to behave exactly as I did.

(What does Disney have to do with the IDF and Hezbollah? Think Mufasa / Scar / Simba / Pridelands / Hakuna Matata / Circle of Life… Or just read the essay.)
Read the whole thing.

The essay, Proving something to myself, begins:
A well-known editor of a widely read Jewish American weekly wrote recently of his deep fear that Israel, with its many hostile and tacit enemies, may be (God forbid, he added) on its way out. The truth is that there is no way to make someone feel better about a qualm like that. It is a logical fear - - although logic, for better and worse, has never been the stuff of Jewish, and especially not Israeli, survival.

The other truth is that scary columns are useful, even when they contain no real operative suggestions, because anxiety often - or hopefully - prompts communal discourse, action, and change. My (quasi-logical) response to him, in Jewish fashion, is a problem, and a Talmudic reinterpretation of Churchill:
Read the whole essay.

As Mufasa said to Simba: Remember who you are.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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