Tonight marks the beginning of one of the most solemn and important days in Israel – and for Jews in the Diaspora as well: Yom HaZikaron. Israeli Memorial Day.
A day to weep for, honor and remember the 22,993 fallen Israeli soldiers.
If you have never been in Israel for Memorial Day, the two-minute siren, sounded at 11 o’clock in the morning – during which the entire country collectively comes to a standstill – is an experience of communal solidarity that exists nowhere else in the world.
As many of you know, I lived in Israel for twelve years before moving to Kansas City. My two sons were born in Israel. My husband and I met – and married – in Israel.
Just days before I met Frankie, he was discharged from his thirty months of service in the Golani Brigade of the Israeli army.
Frankie moved to Israel when he was 18. After one-year in the mechina program at Hebrew University, he officially made aliyah and was drafted into the IDF.
While I didn’t know my husband during this time (I made aliyah just a few months before his service finished), I am incredibly proud of his service. I am especially proud that he did this as a “Lone Soldier” – chayal boded.
In honor of all of Israel’s soldiers – and especially those who lost their lives as lone soldiers, like Michael Levin and Alex Singer, I wanted to do something special with the incredible social platform I’ve been blessed with through Kosher on a Budget.
Do you have stories of Israeli soldiers near and dear to your heart? Please tell us about them in the comments below.