Yom Ha’Zikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut

These two days are so very different, and they are always two days apart. It has been said, not originally by me however, that without the sorrow of the first, we would not have the joy of the second.

I like writing, I like it a lot. I love writing for Zelman’s Partisans, something I hope to do for a very long time. And I love being a partisan. I like words. I like them in English and in Hebrew and love learning new Hebrew words, something I work at every day.

That being said, there are no words I can ever give you, that I can write, that I think you will find as moving as the clip below. It is taken from a radio broadcast I listen to called Walter’s World. It is a clip from Richard Dimbleby on the liberation of Bergen-Belsen. The song at the end is HaTikvah, The Hope, The Israeli national anthem.

Listen, and you will understand why there is Yom Ha’Zikaron. Why there is the day that honors those that have fallen fighting for Israel, and honoring victims of terror that have fallen. They have been killed because they were Jewish, because they live in their land of Israel.

And again, I believe I can never give you any words to explain Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day as well as Kippalive can. Besides, they sing much better than I do, and I’ve got a ton of felafel to fry for a BIG birthday party tonight. Our celebrant turns 68 years old.

ʿam yisraʾel ḥay!

עַם יִשְרָאֵל חַי

The people of Israel live!


11 thoughts on “Yom Ha’Zikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut”

  1. Great juxtaposition. That BBC Historic audio is chilling. These three secular holidays are interesting, especially as taken as a group.

    Yom Hashoah specifically remembering the most recent, and probably the most ambitious attempt to annihilate my people, along with many others.

    Yom HaZikaron remembering those, who (finally) able, stood firm, again and again, in dignity, to rebuff wholesale slaughter at the hands of the Grand Mufti and his (Hitler acolyte) friends in the Levant.

    Lastly, the mixed blessing of a State, but at least a secure place, in our own HOME, in which we can try to wash two thousand years of the ‘dirt’ of the Diaspora off our souls, and re-learn our destiny.

    Thank You, Sheila.

    1. “Lastly, the mixed blessing of a State, but at least a secure place, in our own HOME, in which we can try to wash two thousand years of the ‘dirt’ of the Diaspora off our souls, and re-learn our destiny.”

      Yes, this.

    2. “but at least a secure place, ”

      I wish I could be as optimistic in the long term about the “secure” part, so many people near that place want to emulate the Shoah…

      But for now, yes.

  2. Oh Y.B., you have to know how much that means to me coming from you. That is how I see it, and the battle is so far from over.

    It was a very joyous celebration tonight, many more people than those who attended Yom HaZikaron two nights ago. That’s where the sticker came from shown at the end of the BBC clip came from. It’s mine.

    But I worked many hours today, made and fried a ton of felafel, joked with friends in Hebrew & English and met new people. And we all celebrated the miracle called Israel.

  3. I know that this is meant to be a celebration, but my heart instead is heavy. I can only feel the sorrow of how, while the atrocity that was the holocaust was being inflicted upon the Jews, so very many stood mutely by and did nothing. And I think that yet today, if the same thing were to happen all over again, people would not stand silent, but would instead actively participate in the attacks on the Jews.

    I am sorry to be such a wet blanket on what should be a time of happiness, and yet it is brought about by the memory of that which took place not so long ago. I am finding more and more that it is not enough to simply say Never Again. Like there must be something more proactive that needs to be done. And yet, as just one insignificant person in the grand scheme of things, I am left with more questions than answers. Why did people do such a thing? Why didn’t someone stop this? How could someone hate so much that they could do this? And perhaps the biggest question of all, will this happen again, or probably more accurately, when will this happen again?

    Sheilla, once again, I thank you for an intriguing post. The content of the first narration is something that I will never forget. I dare say, that if this horrible nightmare were to be perpetrated upon a different group, perhaps the Mormons, or the Amish, the public outcry and subsequent military action would be a thing to stand in awe of. However, since it was against the Jews, many simply stood mute, including the Catholic church and others, until the Allied military forces were able to free the camps and drive the Nazis back. It of course, was not as simple as that, and many other factors came into play, but the bottom line is that it was known what was going on for some time before the camps were freed. If it were a different group, they would have become a higher priority.

    May G-d forgive us for our failings, and give us wisdom and strength to ensure that Never Again is more than just a phrase that we utter in hope and promise, but one that stands as a testimony for all time as to His people and their courage.

    1. On the one hand, I read this, thinking, America, and the UK were already fighting a total war against the perpetrators of the Shoah (so was the Soviet Union, but I don’t think Stalin cared about the Jews, if anything he was probably cheering Hitler on in that regard). It’s hard to know what more we could have done.

      But the larger point is that even before the war when it was still “only” retail violence and harassment (who could have imagined, then, that it would have grown to what it did), that no one stood up for the Jews. You’re right, that Jews seem to be a chronic target. I thought the US was past such things but I regularly run into “Christians” who have very poisonous attitudes. They come crawling out of the woodwork when they think it safe to show themselves. (By the way, I’m not so sure Mormons would be immune to such a thing, if it looked to people like others would go along with it.)

      And I’m not even going to begin to highlight Islamic-based “anti-Semitism” (Arabs being Semites too, that’s a really ironic term to bring into that topic) which if anything is far more pervasive.

  4. Thanks guys for the kind words.

    Interesting questions. Yes it could easily happen again. It didn’t happen in a vacuum for sure.

    In Germany a trial run was made on people with disabilities. They injected them to kill them, after they had been taken to “care centers”. When ordinary Germans found out, there was outrage. These were GERMAN CITIZENS being killed, right in their backyard! And hilter learned the lesson, don’t do it in the backyard. So concentration camps were located in other countries. Out of sight……

    Initially everyday Germans rejected hitler’s anti-Semitic message. Jews had lived among them for 100s of years, fought beside them in WWI. But hitler seized the educational system and began to indoctrinate the children, who began to grow up, and listen to their parents and neighbors, and some turned them in. Today we have schools in Calif who give out assignments on if the holocaust really happened and the children are only allowed to use certain web sites and materials to reach their conclusions. Most decided it didn’t happen. Those that made very negative comments got extra points. No, I’m not making it up. Children are taught to hate conservatives now, and what do we see coming out of colleges? BTW, anti-Israeli sentiment RAGES on campuses. And the root of anti-Israeli sentiment IS anti-Semitism, pushed by the BS, er BDS crowd, and funding on that is often interesting. Think palestinians…and with “education” being what it is, if that’s the “cool” thing to do, well then. Children aren’t taught to think, but to regurgitate facts and then crawl in their “safe space” if they see a name drawn in chalk.

    Then there was the media. With Der Sturmer happily shilling for hitler (think NY Slimes) and the volksradio, cheap radios, or free, given to households you can be sure people only heard what the government wanted to hear. Why it is so important for the internet to remain free. Because the MSM has become the modern version of the volksradio. Look at the recent Iran nuclear deal. It has been admitted the obama regime fed talking points to the media, who ran with it. And now Iran has bragged they have missiles capable of reaching Israel. Presumably with a nuclear warhead.

    When you look at how the arabs/muslims educate their children in regards to Jews and Christians you have an idea of what the actions will be. The fact that millions are being imported pretty much guarantees there will be more attacks happening.

    What more we could have done? Well, we could have allowed Jews into America, but they were turned away when they tried to flee Germany. As did other countries. And the Jews fleeing hitler weren’t saying we won’t assimilate, death to America or calling America “The Great Satan”. Nor did they plan to enforce their culture on Americans. A distinction that escapes some who try to use this line of reasoning for accepting “the poor Syrians”. Liberal American Jews sometimes disdain Israel, and Israelis for their desire to live in safety and using GUNS, gasp. They fail to grasp that swarthy dark haired people have been flowing across our borders for many years. And not all of them are Mexicans, some of them just look like Mexicans. And I’m talking back in the 90s. We have NO idea who or how many. And they don’t care that you voted for obama twice or bat tar crazy San Fran Nancy 1,200,342 times. They want to kill you because you have a kippah.

    Which is WHY, among other reasons, that the state of Israel exists. Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. ~~Robert Frost. A land they never left willingly, and remnants have pretty much always remained I think. The race that G-d chose to bring his light into the world, and to share knowledge of him. Which pretty much, I think explains the attacks of the past, and ensures attacks in the future. I think Israel is the key to a lot.

    While it’s not being reported much I don’t think in the MSM, Jews & Christians are being slaughtered quite horribly daily now, and the world pretty much emits a yawn.

    But things are happening, a friend of mine said something yesterday about bones coming back together and sinews and muscle starting to grow….Israel is a key, a nation formed in a day. WOW! A home.

    1. “What more we could have done? Well, we could have allowed Jews into America”

      Good point. I hadn’t considered the angle of taking in (some) refugees; I was thinking of rather more forceful methods of direct stoppage. As for the rest of that paragraph, it’s disgustingly true. Meanwhile, I’ll wager some are trying to guilt us over Holocaust refugees to get us to take in these newer “refugees.”

      I think back to how Hitler pulled off his feat against a country full of fundamentally decent but almost powerless people, and I am less sanguine about our abilities to resist the Great Gun Confiscation, should it ever happen. Many assert that the military won’t help carry it out, or will even stage a coup, but the latter won’t happen, not after someone has put his own people in power, and the former can be avoided by simply concentrating those few willing to undertake the task in a few units, and giving them free rein, ensuring that they suffer no consequences for following illegal orders. Make examples of a few people elsewhere who protest, and the military will stand aside while some rogue units do the work. Make it spectacularly bad for their targets, and most gun owners will see it and fold.

  5. Meanwhile, I’ll wager some are trying to guilt us over Holocaust refugees to get us to take in these newer “refugees.”<<<bet on it. I've heard it.

    As to the rest? I think there is a good reason that the current regime wants to cede so much to the ever helpful UN-peacekeepers.

    You know, it seems in the back of my mind I read somewhere Stalin did a purge of his top military officials. But I could be wrong.

    1. Stalin did a purge

      He did purges more often than he changed his underwear.

      But yes, getting the old guard out and bringing in new people who know their job depends on you is a good way to consolidate power, once given an office. Obungler, as far as I know, at least didn’t kill any brass to get rid of t hem.

  6. Sheila,
    I don’t know if you ever come back to these posts, but I hope this finds it’s way to you. I receive an e-mail alert from a site that mentioned an upcoming, but little known Jewish holiday, called Pesach Sheni, which they referred to as a second passover. I was just wondering if you know anything about this, or am I being steered wrong?

    The name of the newsletter is Chabad .org. I don’t remember where I stumbled onto it, or how I subscribed to it, but I get e-mails each week from them, usually nondescript. I just saw this and was intrigued, and immediately thought you might have some thoughts.

    Thanks for all you do, and be well.


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