12 April, 2010

ום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה : Holocaust/heroism rememberance

Jewish holidays in Israel feel different than they do in Colorado. Last night started what is colloquially known as Yom HaShoah. Ceremonies in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem abounded. There is actually palpable remembrance, the air is somber.
This morning, at 10a, the Jerusalem siren went off for two minutes, signaling silence. I was standing outside on the mirpesset (balcony), feeling the wind on my face, hearing the sounds of the city and of nature when the siren first started. The jackhammer from the construction workers to my left first had to pause to hear the sirens, then paused in honor of it. To my right, there was no such pause, and work continued. Nature didn't stop either: the birds kept chirping, the cats kept fighting, the bees kept buzzing, the wind kept blowing. And then nothing. Everything, as though on cue, stopped.
It was in this true silence that the deafening voices of those killed could be heard. Quiet balagan.

Today is also the day to remember heroism. To celebrate those who looked impossible situations in the eye and said "I can and will do my part." Perhaps not knowing that their actions were extraordinary, or maybe they knew; they did them anyway.
Maybe we don't know what action will take when we're called, maybe we don't know it's impact. But today, this day of remembrance,  can teach us that knowing or not knowing, we need to act.

To all those who've been murdered and all who've been heroes--thank you, you are remembered.

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