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In a letter to IDF soldiers and commanders, the Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gantz wrote, "Another year passed, another year of standing guard, of relentless, exuberant, hard work ensuring the security of Israeli citizens. A year passed and again we stand at Memorial Day ceremonies, by graves of fallen brothers, facing monuments with a endless and unfathomable rows of names of the fallen."
There exists a new type of Israeli, who sees a moral equivalence between Israel's fallen, and those of the enemy.
Tel Aviv District Police has completed its preparations for Memorial Day and the 64th Independence Day of the State of Israel. County units will operate with reinforcements of Police, Border Guard officers and Civil Defense volunteers, increasing normal security arrangements, easing traffic flow and preventing criminal activity.
This time of year in Israel is a time of sadness and a time of joy. We commemorate the murder of six million Jews in Nazi Europe and we commemorate the deaths of our children in times of war and the terrorist murders of our people during periods of "peace." When our sadness reaches a crescendo as the sun sets on Memorial Day, we pause, raise our flag from half mast to its highest height, and joyfully begin to celebrate Israel's Independence Day.
Sherwood Goffin has had a storied career. The cantor of Lincoln Square Synagogue since 1965, Goffin started his musical career as a folk singer. From 1961-1995, Goffin sang on major stages worldwide, recorded six albums, and was known as the "Voice of Soviet Jewry," singing at all the major Soviet Jewry UN Solidarity Day rallies from 1964-1991.
Israel Independence Day is a national holiday in Israel. This year it falls on Tuesday, April 20th and is celebrated either publicly or within the family circle. The ceremonies begin eight days earlier with Holocaust Memorial Day. One week later, we commemorate Israel's fallen soldiers and terror victims on Memorial Day. As the sun sets, the national flag is raised from half-mast, the music begins to play, and the festivities begin in honor of Israel's 62nd anniversary.
South Florida was recently inundated with weeks of torrential rain. The downside was that the weather ruined the much-anticipated Memorial Day weekend. The upside was that the storms made a dent in the terrible drought conditions that had plagued the area. Sometimes it is easier to see the wisdom of the old adage, "Every cloud has a silver lining."