Tonight began Israel’s Memorial Day when we publicly mourn those killed in our wars and terror attacks. I wrote “publicly,” because here in Israel mourning is always hovering over our lives. We can’t get away from it. There isn’t a family that hasn’t been touched by death, whether during army service or an Arab terror attack. Whether family member, friend or neighbor, we’re all connected and all mourn.
So many times, I’ve gone to comfort someone and all I could say was:
אין מילים There are No Words, “Ain Milim”
I look at the pictures on display and think of the young people who never married, never had children. And others killed leaving their children to be raised by others. They’ll never know their grandchildren, and even worse, their grandchildren won’t know them. I just don’t have the words to say what must be said.
Mourning may not always be obvious to others, but it is always part of life, like the low flame heating the chulent over Shabbat night and early morning. Bereavement flavors life here in Israel, like peppercorns that you suddenly bite into at the most unexpected times. Here in Israel, we can’t get away from those tragic events. They happen to us, to our family and to friends and neighbors. When you know what’s behind the happy smile, and you want to cry from joy that the person has done so well. Or you see the desperate look of a bereaved spouse trying to be father and mother to a handful of children, then too you want to cry. There are no words, and words won’t help.
Let the pictures speak: