ISRAEL BOWS ITS HEAD TO HONOR THE FALLEN
To be Jewish is to commemorate the cost in the midst of a celebration. We eat bitter herbs as we celebrate the Exodus and break a glass at the wedding. We also celebrate holidays from evening to evening. We know that night precedes the day. So, we never lose hope.
Israel is a Jewish state. So, this evening a siren is heard and Israelis wherever they are stop, bow their head and remember the 22,437 soldiers who died since 1948 as well as the 1,634 civilians murdered terror attacks during the same period. We honor those whom the poet Nathan Alterman so presciently described in 1947, as The Silver Platter on which the Jewish state was presented:
And the land grows still, the red eye of the sky slowly dimming over smoking frontiers
As the nation arises, Torn at heart but breathing, To receive its miracle, the only miracle
As the ceremony draws near, it will rise, standing erect in the moonlight in terror and joy
When across from it will step out a youth and a lass and slowly march toward the nation
Dressed in battle gear, dirty, Shoes heavy with grime, they ascend the path quietly
To change garb, to wipe their brow They have not yet found time. Still bone weary from days and from nights in the field
Full of endless fatigue and unrested, Yet the dew of their youth. Is still seen on their head
Thus they stand at attention, giving no sign of life or death
Then a nation in tears and amazement will ask:"Who are you?"
And they will answer quietly,"We Are the silver platter on which the Jewish state was given."
Thus they will say and fall back in shadows And the rest will be told In the chronicles of Israel
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