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May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Memorial Day’

Offspring of Wehrmacht Soldiers Serving in IDF

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

The Talmud relates (Gittin 57b, Sanhedrin 96b) that the grandchildren of Haman, the wicked high ranking Persian politician who planned the first “final solution” for the Jewish nation in the Megillah, studied Torah in B’nei B’rak. Golani Brigade Corp. Elad Tzair, 20, whose family immigrated to Israel from Germany and converted to Judaism, says Holocaust Day “has a very special meaning for me,” seeing as “both my parents’ grandparents fought in the German Army and here I am, their great-grandson, living in Israel and serving as a fighter in the IDF.”

Tzair, a resident of Migdal, on the shore of Lake Kinneret, is the firstborn of six grandchildren of the two German converts who arrived in Israel separately some 20 years ago. He attended religious schools and graduated from the yeshiva high school in Kfar Hasidim.

“My grandparents on both sides converted, as did my father and mother and the rest of my aunts and uncles, so that I was already born into a reality in which I was Jewish,” Tzair told Israeli media. “As far as I know, my parents’ grandparents were not in the SS, and did not partake in the annihilation of the Jewish people in the ghettos,” he continued, noting, “I also know that they did not agree ideologically with the ideas of the Nazi party. As a child, I was told that my paternal great-grandfather fought against the French army, was taken captive by the French and returned to Germany a few years later. My maternal great-grandfather fought against the Russian army. After they had their families, they used to come on visits to Israel. They were always lovers of Israel and I know, for instance, that after the Holocaust they donated money to Israel.”

Tzair says his personal experience of Holocaust Memorial Day has been steeped in personal pain, especially since some of his classmates were in the habit of calling him “the German” and would taunt him for the sins of his great grandparents (something which is strictly forbidden by Jewish law). He says his mother “explained that it’s not about us, and I understood.”

His enlistment in the IDF is, to his family, the closing of a circle. “When my family saw me in my uniform, it moved them very much. Every time I arrive in my uniform, my 82-year-old grandfather starts crying.”

JNi.Media

Time-lapse Movie of One World Trade Center Construction

Friday, May 29th, 2015

In recognition of the opening of One World Observatory in New York City, EarthCam released a special edition of their One World Trade Center video. It shows the completion of construction from October 2004 to Memorial Day 2015.

Hundreds of thousands of high definition images were captured over the past 11 years and hand-edited for this exclusive time-lapse movie.

Video of the Day

Chareidi Initiative United Moment of Silence with Silent Prayer

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

A 2-minute siren sounded at 11 AM this morning throughout Israel to commemorate and remember Israel’s fallen. At that point, all of Israel will stop and stand for a moment of silence.

A new Chareidi initiative was launched for Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, called “Sheket, Zochrim” or “Be Silent, We are Remembering”.

The initiative was launched by Rabbi Ze’ev Rothman, a Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi, as an attempt to connect the two minutes of silence with an older Jewish tradition of saying Tehillim (Psalms) and prayers for the deceased.

His idea united both the secular and religious together during this solemn moment of silence as we all remembered Israel’s fallen.

A silent prayer during the moment of silence.

The flyers were handed out in shopping centers, stores and schools and targeted everyone from Chareidim to secular. Over 50,000 flyers were printed and distributed.

The text of the prayers follows:
Sheket Zochrim

Jewish Press Staff

A Private Memorial Day

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

An Israeli woman visits a relative’s grave on Mount Herzl on Tuesday, a few hours before Memorial Day begins, at which point the military cemetery will be full of family and friends of the deceased.

Photo of the Day

Today is Memorial Day

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Today is Memorial Day. If anyone should recognize the sacrifices of the American military, it is the Jewish people. It was the supreme allied commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower who led the invasion of Normandy at Omaha Beach in France so as to enable the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. Omaha Beach was a virtual slaughter house as wave after wave of soldiers moved forward into massive gunfire by the enemy. Many soldiers died or became permanently injured. And yet they kept on coming until the eventually landed and overcame the enemy.

One of the images that will be seared into my memory will be the tour Eisenhower took into one of the liberated camps. What he encountered was the unimaginable and yet true events of torture that took place at the hands of the Nazis, while the German citizens looked the other way. Eisenhower went to a nearby town and forced the entire town to go to one of those camps to see what their leaders had done… and forced those townspeople to help bury the dead.

I think it is only right to think of all the sacrifices that American soldiers did for the sake of triumphing over evil… an evil directed primarily against us. We owe those men… and this country a tremendous debt of gratitude. God bless them and God bless the United States of America.

Harry Maryles

Terror Victim Heckles Netanyahu at Yom HaZikaron Ceremony

Monday, May 5th, 2014

A victim of Arab terror disrupted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at today’s Memorial Day service at Mount Herzl.

Rami Cohen was stabbed by an Arab in 2000, during the early stages of the Oslo War (second “intifada”). Today, he wants answers about the release of hundreds of murderers in order to cajole the PLO to negotiate with Israel over the past nine months.

“How could you release the killers of our children?” Cohen shouted at the prime minister.

Netanyahu did not address the fact that the prisoner releases failed to appease Palestinian Authority leader Abu Mazen, and failed to secure any Palestinian recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish country. But the prime minister appeared unfazed by the interruption, and said he’d expected to be challenged about the prisoner release.

“The decision we made was a tough one, one that stands in contrast to the values of justice,” Netanyahu said. “The tough reality of this region has forced Israeli governments for decades to make decisions like this one that are too tough to bear.

“(But) I viewed it as my responsibility as the prime minister of Israel to stand here to day together with you, on Yom HaZikaron with our fallen loved ones. I salute you and wish you a speedy recovery. May the memories of all terror victims be blessed forever,” Netanyahu said.

Avi Tuchmayer

A Nation in Unity on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Israel’s flag is waving at half mast and the memory of 23,169 lost Israeli soldiers and victims of terror has quieted the nation on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day.

No music plays in the neighborhoods, and children are not laughing today on the streets. A somber air is felt throughout the country as Israelis remember their fallen.

Some of those are not even Jewish. They are Bedouin or Druze or Circassians who have thrown in their lot with their Jewish neighbors. They, too, have paid the price.

Few indeed are those in this country who have not lost at least one family member in military action or terror, or are not close to someone who has, in the struggle to fulfill the mitzvah to hold this Holy Land, Eretz Tzion, Israel.

By age 16, all Jewish teens in Israel receive their first IDF notice, summoning them for exams to determine a medical, educational and psychological fitness profile. The IDF recently announced it will soon begin to send voluntary draft notices to all Christian Israelis, offering them the chance to enlist in Israel’s army as well.

By 18, most boys and girls in this country are smiling and nervously getting into fitted green or camel-colored uniforms, queuing up at central bus stations before and after Shabbat and talking about what happened in their new units “at the base.”

They’re babies, really — babies learning how to face killers; other babies fed on evil hatred since birth. Last year, 40 died, though some of those were reservists, IDF soldiers who return to serve 30 days a year to help the “newbies” and the career soldiers keep Israel safe from its enemies. “Reservists” can be soldiers in their 20s — or as old as 40.

“It is difficult, if not impossible, to show those that haven’t experienced it the size of the grief that befell us, the intensity of the shock that grasps us, and the sense of loss that fills us,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained at Monday’s ceremony at Mount Herzl military cemetery, attended also by President Shimon Peres, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and a host of other officials.

Paraphrasing and slightly changing a well-known Psalm of King David, he said, “There, we sat at the graves of our loved ones, and wept, and we remembered our loved ones that fell for the sake of Zion.”

Sweeping the entire People of Israel into unity with Israel’s grief over its fallen, the prime minister said, “On this day, the entire people relates to the heroes of the nation. They come from all parts of the nation and from all parts of society. The simple truth that is the most concise is this: we would not be here if it were not for their sacrifice.

“Even if it means unparalleled pain, a great miracle happened here. Israel returned to her country, to her home, established a state and did wonders, but at this moment we should not forget that it is a privilege to be here.”

People came to their feet across the country as a siren wailed into the skies at 11 o’clock in the morning, reminding Israelis of the price paid for peace, and Israel’s defense.

A candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall last night, announced by the nationwide siren at eight o’clock in the evening, also featured an address by President Peres.

“We, the Israelis, are not like every people,” the president pointed out. “Already for years a sad generation hasn’t relaxed, hasn’t been able to enjoy a time of happiness. Our joy is always missing. A cloud of sadness envelops us. It is deeply hidden, but one can see it in our eyes.”

The president spoke of parents who lost their children, “the image of the soldiers that fell in Israel’s wars… They did not have time to plant a tree. They didn’t taste the full flavor of love. They left behind you, the bereaved families… and us, the friends, to painfully remember.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/a-nation-in-unity-on-yom-hazikaron-israels-remembrance-day/2014/05/05/

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