Hebrew Academy and École Maïmonide united for a solemn Yom Hazikaron Zoom ceremony this morning that included introductory remarks and tefillot by School Rabbi Rabbi Eddie Shostak, Maïmonide Judaic Studies Principal Rabbi Yamin Benarroch, and Bnei Akiva Shaliach Eli Veresh. Prior to the screening of a moving film produced by Kollel Torah MiTzion and Bnei Akiva, Rosh KTM Rabbi Eliyau Gateno delivered the following heartfelt tribute:
“Today, Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron 5781, we remember together the 23,928 fallen soldiers and the 4,166 victims of Terror.
Those that from their blood our country was built, and the cities stood.
Those that with their might and bravery gave their lives to protect life in Israel,
Those that fell as sacrifices on the altar of settlement in our land.
This is a national day of mourning in which the whole nation participates in the perpetual pain of the families who have paid the ultimate price for the revival and security of our homeland.
Every individual who fell has his own story and uniqueness, the family he left behind, the legacy he left behind, and the vast empty space he left.
We are a nation of leaders.
A nation that educates to think of the other, that encourages caring for a better future.
A nation that sanctifies taking responsibility, and caring for the wellbeing of Klal Israel.
Today we have chosen to focus on those fallen whose lives were a model and inspiration,
those fallen, who, in the few years of their lives, have managed to touch and leave a mark on their near and far surroundings.
Who acted and initiated, changed and pushed, set a personal example for their communities
and by their actions, they became leaders; leaders whose life was too short but yet inspiring for so many.
Today we bow our heads and weep over their loss.
Today we salute their work, And remember their way.
Today we are here in their memory.
Yechezkel Hanavi said:
“ואעבור עליך ואראך מתבוססת בדמיך ואומר לך בדמיך חיי”
“When I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you: ‘Live in spite of your blood.’ Yea, I said to you: ‘Live in spite of your blood.’”
Or in a more precise translation: “You will raise life from your blood.”
There is no consolation for bereaved families.
Their most precious was taken from them and went up to heaven, but if we still seek some kind of consolation, this is the consolation.
Those words בדמייך חיי –“Live in spite of your blood”, connect us all with the fallen soldiers and the victims of terrorism.
While we are alive, and able to continue seeing the prosperity and development of the State of Israel, it is only thanks to the blood of the fallen and their devotion.
Today we not only remember them; today we stand here and thank them together.”