Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yom Hazikaron 5769 - Siren and Silence

יום הזכרון תשס"ט
Pierre Koenig 11:00 am. Talpiot

The siren sounds,
A busy street comes to a standstill.
A call to attention,
A call to unity,
A summons to remember.
The world stands still.
אם יתקע שופר בעיר
ועם לא יחרד?

And I stand and think:
ונזכור את כולם
My cousin Yitzchak Hirschberg, who died in מלחמת שלום הגליל
Danny Frei – Larger than life. How charismatic! How driven to help the Jewish people, How filled with energy, warmth! Killed by a terrorist (in his bed!) in Michmas
Yoni Jesner – my Talmid. What potential!
Yeoshua Friedberg – who served his country. Gentle person. Part of our Katamon "chevra". Picked up at a trempiada. Killed by terrorists. How did he spend his last moments, in that speeding car?
Daniel Mandel - fighter, soldier, officer, from my Yishuv. Parents still distraught
יזכור אלוקים
May God remember them.
(Why do I know so many people...?)

אבינו שבשמים
ברך את מדינת ישראל
הגן אליה באברת חסדיך
ופרוס עליה את סוכת שלומיך
שים שלום בארץ
הגן את מגיני ארץ קדשינו.

הלנצח תאכל חרב?

The siren ends,
It splutters.
Breaths its last breaths.
- silence.

Life resumes,
traffic hums,
people walk,
Continue their daily routine.

But I observe:
A burly taxi driver wipe a tear from his eye,
A young man embracing and comforting the young lady who he is with,
And an elderly man, still standing to attention ... a full minute after the siren is quiet. Still there.

Life resumes?

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