Thursday, 8 May 2014

Yom Ha'zikaron: Chills, Tears and an Immense Amount of Pride.

A Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism. If there was one day out of these six months that I knew I had to be in Jerusalem Israel for it was Yom Ha'zikaron. A day in which not only family or loved ones mount but the entire country does so too. This is what I wrote and some pictures will follow: 

Shalom Everyone, 

Yom Ha'Zikaron... 

I struggle to place my emotions into words but I guess I can try. Tonight was one of those nights that signified a change within my life. I have felt emotions on this eve, ones that I have not encountered before. Tonight, I felt a sense of belonging to a nation, I felt a sense of gratitude to a group of honourable, brave and selfless people (the fallen soldiers), tonight I felt a sense of immense pride for a country and for the ideals that it stands for.
It is impossible for me to place my feelings within a short status. I do however, have to thank those who sacrificed their lives in order to put on the green uniform, wave our flag high and serve our country. We thank you, chayallim (soldiers/חיילים), for all that you have done. For me - you have inspired a girl to grow up, inspired a girl to find her home within Israel, and also inspired a girl to want to serve one day too.

Being able to stand today at the Western Wall (this is one of the photographs that I captured tonight) during the Official State Military Ceremony (טקס) and hear the words of Kaddish for all those who have been lost - it signified that this was not only a loss for a certain person or family but instead a loss for the entire nation. Tomorrow we will morn together, we will wave our flags up high, we will sit in silence and salute you, we will sing Hatikvah together with the HOPE that the number of 23 169 fallen soldiers, will not ever increase.

Ending off tonight with a ceremonial concert in an open square in the centre of Jerusalem, while we cried for those who are missed today and while we praised Hashem for blessing us with a strong country and the strongest nation. We shed tears for those who were being remembered and we shed tears for those who are out fighting today. We shed tears of sadness form grief as well as tears of happiness from victory.

I wish you all a meaningful Yom Ha'Zikaron. If you do a mitzvah (good deed) today, do it in the name and honour of the fallen Israeli's soldiers.

Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet. We honour you, salute you and devote our day to your bravery and memory.

I still cannot believe how incredibly inspiring this nation, country and the people of my home, Jerusalem all are.

I think tonight, I have found a place that I no longer want, but that I now need to call my home.


Har Herzl three days before Yom Ha'Zikaron. 

Now beginning with the official military Tekes (ceremony) at the Western Wall. 

This girl stopped beside me at Har Herzl, asked to photograph me drawing and my drawings. I then happened to run into her at the Tekes four days later. Only in Israel story. 

My favorite part of Yom Ha'Zikaron: I drew a soldier while waiting for the ceremony to begin (my friend, Aaron and I wanted front row seats so we stood and waited for four hours) once finished with the drawing I tore it out of my sketchbook, signed it and handed it to the soldier. The smile on his face and his reaction to the drawing (showing all of his fellow soldiers and the outer crowds the drawing coninuously throughout the night) allowed me to leave no filled with sorrow but rather filled with absolute pride. 

I now credit Jared's camera. 

This photograph was taken by my friend, Ore, of my telephone. Inception. 

My favorite place in the world: HOME. 
Photo credit: Ore 

Photo credit: Jared

This Yom Ha'Zikaron I had the absolute privilege of speaking and meeting Michael Levin's mother. After her giving me an answer to my question (I asked her for a hug) - we embraced and smiled while we stood next to the grave of her courageous, brave and heroic son; Michael. 

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