Two weeks ago today Israel commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a siren and official ceremonies to remember the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis in World War II.
One week ago today, Israel commemorated Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers and terror victims with a siren and official ceremonies to remember those who fell in defense of Israel.
Today, the 11th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, is the second anniversary of the murder of Tali Hatuel and her four daughters, Hila 11, Hadar 9, Roni 7, and Merav 2, z"l. They were gunned down as they were driving from their home in Gush Katif. Their ceremony will be a private one, but we should all remember them just the same.
In this war that isn't a war, their "battleground" was the family station wagon.
In this war that isn't a war, their "defense" was their innocence. In most of the civilized world people don't target women and children and kill them in cold blood. In this case their innocence wasn't enough to protect them.
When Jews refer to someone who has died, we usually put the letters z"l after their names. This abbreviation stands for "zichrono l'bracha" in Hebrew, which means "his memory should be a blessing". It is customary to memorialize a person by giving charity in their name, so that this verbal wish is realized practically, and that blessings really are brought into this world in connection to the person who is no longer with us.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the details of the conflict between the Jews and the Arab terrorists in the Middle East, and are confused by both the deliberately distorted moral equivalence put forth by the media and the dust kicked up by the anti-Semites, here it is in a nutshell.
There is a qualitative difference between the two sides in the conflict, and can be summarized simply in a way that is short enough for a sound byte.
Look at the reaction to senseless death, and how the dead are "memorialized".
The Arab terrorists react to senseless death by calling for more senseless death. They exhort their followers to become suicide bombers, and they dress their babies in bomb belts.
How do the Jews react to senseless death?
Look at David Hatuel, the husband and father who lost everything dear to him two years ago. If anyone has the "right" to call for revenge and could be forgiven for doing so, it is David.
He didn't do that. First, he rebuilt his life and remarried a few months ago. Second, he set up a memorial fund in memory of his wife and daughters, that gives money to infertile couples so that they can undergo treatments that will hopefully help them bring children into the world. He thought that this was the most fitting memorial to them, because in addition to the other things his daughters may have done with their lives, getting married and bringing up Jewish babies would have been central.
How do Jews react to senseless death? By bringing forth more life.