Shalom Chaver, Commemorating Yitzhak Rabin

Yitzhak Rabin Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s fifth prime minster was assassinated on 09.30 on Nov 4, 1995, at the end of a peace rally. Yigal Amir, a right winged extremist, strongly opposed to the Oslo Accords, shot the Prime Minster.

The next morning my husband and I told our son what happened. He was three years old at a time but with everyone talking about nothing else,  he would end up overhearing about the murder anyways so it would be better if her heard about it from us first. Continue reading

Applying lessons from the Yom Kippur War to today’s conflict with Iran

39 years to the Yom Kippur War – Oct 6, 1973

Yom Kippur War, 6 Oct 1973, resulted in a loss of more than 2297 lives

IDF chief in 2011 annual memorial service for Yom Kippur fallen Photo IDF Spokesperson Unit

There is an important lesson to be learned from the Yom Kippur War, a lesson that must be applied to the current conflict with Iran. While the US is an important ally of Israel, it is Israel’s prerogative, Israel’s duty to its citizens, to act on its own best interests, to make it own decisions. While the American approval is important, Israel must first and foremost make its own judgement call on how to defend itself and its citizens.This may sound obvious but this is not the way things played out during the Yom Kippur War. Continue reading

Commemorating the Yom Kippur War – Yom Kippur 1973

Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is most commonly associated with the image of a white clad rabbi swaying to and fro in prayer; the parched, dry aftertaste of fasting; and the sound of the cantor’s voice reciting a litany of sins and asking god to “… pardon us, forgive us, grant us remission”.  For me, Yom Kippur will always be associated with the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the voice of the cantor always mingles in my mind with the sharp, keening, wail of a siren.

I grew up in the heart of Tel-Aviv – the City that Never Stops. Only it does stop:  Once a year, Tel-Aviv, like the rest of Israel, shuts down its open markets, the cafes and restaurants, and all the traffic, to stand still before God on the Day of Judgment. Continue reading

Commemorating Operation Entebbe

Today, June 27, 2012 marks the 36th anniversary of the highjacking of Air France flight # 139 from Tel Aviv to Paris. A week later, on 4 July 1976, the Israeli Defense Forces carried out the courageous and challenging “Operation Thunderbolt” also known as “Operation Entebbe” or “Operation Yehonatan”, to release the hostages and bring them back home. Any Israeli, who has lived through the anxiety of that week, will never forget the overwhelming joy that swept the country when the hostages returned home. Continue reading

And the very next morning, we woke up to the news/ Leah Polin Remembers the Six-Day War

Paratroopers at Jerusalem’s Western Wall shortly after its capture. Picture taken by David Rubinger and uploaded from Israel’s Knesset website

On June 5, 2012, Leah Polin, the Vice President of Education of the Chicago Chapter of Hadassah, gave a speech in the installation dinner of the Gibora group. Leah is an amazing lady and listening to her is always a pleasure. This speech was even more exciting than usual, providing insights to Leah‟s personal experience with the Six-Day War. Leah agreed to share this speech with us on this blog. I‟d like to thank Leah and I hope you will enjoy reading, as much as I enjoyed hearing Leah talk. 

“Precisely 45 years ago tonight, June 5, 1967, I was standing in the exact position as Sherri and Andi, about to be installed as president of a new fledgling Hadassah group, named North Boundary. Still in my 20′s, having delivered my third baby within the month, a Hadassah member for just 2 years, I had no idea what to expect and what lay ahead. Nor did I imagine the remarkable challenges that were to take place in the next 24 hours. My closing remarks June 5, 1967 were that things are desperate in Israel, then 19 years old, and let’s all hope and pray for peace and that no one we know, be touched by the impending difficulties ahead.

 “And the very next morning, we woke up to the news that Israel was in battle, serious battle for its life in what would come to be known as the Six-Day War. Continue reading