These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

The Price

Posted on May 28, 2011 by Shibley

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Israel bears an incredible cost for its existence. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the numbers of Israelis whose lives have been lost to war and terrorism is staggering, relative to the size of the country.

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to go to Har Herzel, one of Israel’s military cemeteries, the final resting spot for former heads of state and Herzel himself. As the tour, guided by Pardes Dean David Bernstein, progressed, I couldn’t help but feel a greater and great sense of gratitude for those who were entombed around me. As they rest there between the tall pines of the cemetery, Israel continues, striving to build the nation to which their lives were sacrificed.

As we came to the area of the cemetery where more recent fallen are interred, I couldn’t help but see myself in their places. I was living in comfort in the United States, playing baseball, going to college, making my own schedule, and preparing for life. These young men and women were taking grenades, rockets, and machine gun fire.

This weekend is memorial day in the United States. For those reading who are living there, please take time to remember and appreciate the fallen. Memorial Day should not be a day of BBQs, parties, and sales. Instead, take a page out of Israel’s book and really stop to remember.