We commemorate today Yom Hazikaron (“The Day of Remembrance” or “Memorial Day”) honoring the memory of the soldiers of the Israeli army who sacrificed their lives for the establishment of the State of Israel and its continued existence. The young soldiers who gave their lives in the wars of Israel are the greatest heroes of Israel. “The silver platter” on which the State of Israel was delivered to us. As Rabbi Eliezer Melamed says in Penine Halakha: “These soldiers, most of them very young, sacrificed everything, so that we can have our land, where we can fulfill our greatest dream, all AM ISRAEL returning to their homeland to serve HaShem … .we should be inspired by their sacrifice and devotion to sanctify the name of God (leqaddesh shem shamayim). “
In preparation for Yom haZikaron the Ministry of Defense published the official figures: Since 1860, when the first Jewish neighborhood was established outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls, 23,544 men and women have died while serving in the security services of Israel and the pre-state Jewish community. There were 60 new casualties this year, from the last Memorial Day. In Israel there are 9,157 bereaved parents, 4,881 IDF widows and 1,843 IDF orphans.
Today, in Israel, tens of thousands of people will attend local cemeteries to mourn for their children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends. In the morning, at 11.00 am, a siren sounds throughout the country. Everything and everyone stops for two minutes: people, cars, businesses, public transportation, etc. to honor the memory of the fallen heroes.
Today, we also honor the memory of the victims of terror. According to official data (Social Security National Institute), from the date of the declaration of the State of Israel until today, 3,117 people have been killed in hostilities. The number includes 122 foreign nationals killed in terrorist attacks in Israel, the last being Hannah Beldon, a student from England who was stabbed to death on the Jerusalem light Train. In addition, this number includes 100 Israelis killed in terror attacks abroad. From the last Yom haZikaron until today, 11 civilians have been killed.
In total, we honor 26,661 people, soldiers, fighters, security personnel, and civilians.
One of the victims of terror this last year was a very young girl, Hallel Ariel, 13 years old, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist. The story of Halel z”l, represents the struggle Israel is facing every day: we are facing a brutal, heartless and coward enemy that takes pride in killing a young, innocent and inoffensive girl while she was sleeping.
May HaShem treasure the souls of the heroes of Israel and the victims of terror in Gan Eden.
May He bless their families and grant them strength to bear the pain of the loss of their loved ones.
May HaShem bless the soldiers of Israel and its inhabitants, and protect them from our enemies.
May HaShem give AM ISRAEL strength and victory, and bless Israel with peace. AMEN
Please, light a candle and say a prayer for the elevation of their soul.