Surviving Sacrifice and Standing Proud: Witnessing The Miracle of Israel

Just about every individual, every citizen, is personally connected to a friend, family member or acquaintance that gave their lives in battle, or whose lives were torn apart by the senseless terror that stole our hearts and so many of our brethren before, on, and since October 7.

On Yom HaZikaron, the soldiers responsible for our safety and security are remembered alongside the victims of terror whose lives could not be saved. And the list of names grows longer, as more families join the circle of the bereaved whose hearts burn with the pain of loss. The transition to Yom HaAtzmaut is a stark reminder that, even in spite of our aching souls, we have the privilege of taking pride in our brave fighters and the integrity of our national purpose with the acute awareness that without the sacrifice of those that perished, there would be more victims to bury.

Just as we have witness how tragedy becomes an awakening moment, we move through this experience and seek that light of hope.

The candlelighting of the national ceremony of independence began with this heartbreaking song and stunning performance about victims of Oct 7th, a poignant reflection of the aching soul of the Jewish nation.

May our hearts always be moved by the expression of pain and hope, mingled in the moments that mark the movement between mourning and memory.


The lives lost on October 7, the hostages that remain in captivity, and those who fell in battle or terror attacks since that fateful day - they are all in our hearts still as we try to stand tall and proud in honor of 76 years of the miracle of Israel. We mourn their absence, and we honor the sacrifice that reminds us all of the the ideals of Zionism upon which our ancestral right was reborn.

Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut are back-to-back for a purpose. The celebrations of Independence Day are not empty or for their own sake. We celebrate with the acute awareness that without the incredible sacrifice of those we lost, there would be no State of Israel, there would be no defense against the siege on our rights, our freedom, and our lives both in Israel and everywhere in the world. Yom HaZikaron fills our Yom HaAtzmaut with meaning – it compels us to push ahead, to continue to build, and to never take our lives, our families, or our friends for granted.

For 2000 years there was not a Jew in the world whose freedom was not ultimately in the hands of non-Jewish regimes. We have seen in the last decades that, even in our homeland, our security rests on ourselves and our commitment to the future. Yet we face the pervasive evils of terrorism, at home and abroad, carried out for the simple fact that we are Jews. And it is this responsibility that we can all, as Citizens of Israel and Virtual Citizens of Israel, Jews and Friends of the Jewish nation, can be a part of fulfilling.




Celebrations are more calm this year, and sensitive to the families in pain, but not alone. As the nation of Israel - never alone... For we are all feeling the challenge of what it means to celebrate while in war, while soldiers are fighting, and while fathers, sons, mothers, and babies remain lost, underground, and unable to breathe...

How often we, each free in our homes and living our lives, felt that pain in the early weeks and months after the massacre... How impossible it seems that so much time has passed, and that we are expected to celebrate, to move on, to dance, sing, even with our tear-stained smiles and our hopeful broken hearts.

We pray for their homecoming, just as we prayed for thousands of years for our return to the Land of Israel. We will hear their stories long after remembrance days have passed, and we will keep our spirit alive by finding ways that we can express, discuss, and do more.

At Israel Forever, we strive to bring every member of our global community original materials, programming, and opportunities for personal activism as Virtual Citizens. We want to make sure that you are not feeling alone wherever you are, and to create connections for you with Israel and Israelis that can inspire, uplift and empower. For just as we embrace the pain of the bereaved and traumatized - through your letters, mosaics, and activities to show Israelis you care - so, too, do we need to embrace one another and give voice to the calls to action that are a part of our national fight for independence and freedom from hate, demonization, and indifference.



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