Last night, R had a bad asthma attack that ended with us at the doctor and him on the Nebulizer. Thank G-d he's fine and breathing much better today. We didn't get out of the office until well after closing time, after dark. On our way home, he skipped and jumped and chattered and insisted that we count the Israeli flags we passed. He was up to 19 when the siren announcing the start of Israeli Remembrance Day sounded. If you've never heard the siren, it's hard to explain; it's an air raid siren that can be heard from anywhere, it's loud and it's emotional. It stopped us in our tracks, and we stood there on the dark street for the moment until it ended.
It then sparked a conversation on the way home, as I tried to answer all the questions a five year old can conjure up in a few minutes: What is that noise? Why do we stand still? Why do soldiers have to die?
And once again, explaining things to a child, I was able to really clarify things for myself. BAW and I both come from more Yeshivish backgrounds and by now are used to the common misconceptions about the State of Israel and "frum" ideas about the evils of Yom Ha'azmaut and anything Zionistic. We've spent years defending to our fellow Jewish Americans our increasing desire to live in E"Y and become part of the greater whole of Jews who live here but respect and appreciate the medina, the State. We made a very conscientious decision before we stepped off the plane to send our boys to schools that would encourage above all else a love of Hashem and Torah and Mitzvot, but also a need and right to defend our homeland.
On that little walk in the moonlight with R, standing there listening to the siren, and saying my perek of tehillim, I felt a real significance of remembering all those who have given their lives so that we can take our walk in the moonlight.
Later that night, our amazing shul once again put together a fantastic program for the evening. An "Erev Nashim" --"Women's Night" where women of the community gathered to sing, share stories of loss and strength, and to remember those who have fought or been killed Al Kiddush Hashem. It was truly an inspirational night and another reminder of how very lucky and thankful I am to be here.