It’s rather ironic that although my written Hebrew is awful, I see, hear and think about Hebrew linguistics a lot. Most people are rather surprised at my grasp of Hebrew linguistics and the meanings I find in words.
The word אמת emmet, truth, written without Hebrew vowels, can mean something which really is true:t That אמות amute I will die. The actual Hebrew root for die is מ ו ת which has a “ו” but the “ו” is dropped in some of the conjugations of the verb, such as past tense. It’s ironic, but the only certainty in life is that we will one day die.
Why is death so on my mind today? Because it’s Israel’s Soldiers and Terror Victims Memorial Day. After two totally mesmerizing moving ceremonies, last night and this morning, all I can do is think of the victims, those dead from Arab terror or war.
After seeing and hearing and talking to all the parents, spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends (did I leave anyone out?) of the dead how can anything other than death be on my mind?
They may not be among the living, but they certainly cast a long shadow on us and our lives.
From the speeches, it was clear that time doesn’t heal the pain. Everyone I spoke to afterwards agreed that each year it gets harder. The mourning comes in waves.
From the comments on my post, One of The Very Best Things About Israel, I see that not everyone agrees with me that it’s good to combine Independence Day with Memorial Day. I treasure the fact that I’m taking intense memories of the dead with me to the celebrations. I don’t think it is good to just celebrate our independence. It’s too much like those who think that all you have to do is “write a check” to buy something and don’t realize that the check must be covered by money in the bank.
It’s important to realize the cost of something, and that includes the State of Israel. Our country isn’t just a money budget. We’ve invested many lives in building it.
We are Jews, יהודים Yihudim. In the word יהודי yihudi Jew we can find the word להודות lihodote, to thank, and we must thank God and all of those who gave their lives for the defense of the State of Israel and the Jewish People.
And tonight we will celebrate the God given victory…
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