"Even if you are in the midst of great suffering, do not give up hope" (Pirkei Avos 1:7; Rashi).
Life situations might at times seem so bleak and desperate that you see no hope for the future. You might tell yourself things like, "My life is a terrible mess, and I don't think it will ever improve." Such thinking leads to very painful feelings.
The Sages advised us never to give up hope. Ask yourself, "What proof do I have that things will never improve?" While you might not have a guarantee that things will be better, you can never be certain that they will not improve. Don't give up hope when in a very short time your whole situation might change dramatically for the better.
I know myself as a week ago today I got married and found new love in my life.
This is an important message to remember when Yom Hazikaron starts tonight and we remember the fallen.
Love Yehuda Lave
Memorial Day 2018: 71 Israeli Soldiers Added to the Ranks of the Fallen Over Past Year
Twelve Israeli civilians were also killed in terror attacks this year ■ 23,645 have died in Israel's and pre-state wars since 1860
Since Israel's last Memorial Day, 71 more Israel Defense Forces soldiers have died serving their country, says the Defense Ministry. This includes 30 disabled IDF veterans who died of their injuries during the past year and were recognized as fallen soldiers.
The number of those killed since 1860 defending Israel and the pre-state community is 23,645. These numbers include not only IDF soldiers, but also police officers, prison service wardens, and Shin Bet security service and Mossad agents.
The numbers also include members of the pre-state militias and the Jewish Brigade that served in the British army during World War II.
Another 12 civilians were killed in "hostile acts" over the past year, says the National Insurance Institute. The number of people killed in terrorist attacks since the establishment of Israel in 1948 is 3,134. This number includes 122 foreign citizens who were killed in attacks in Israel, and 100 Israelis killed in attacks overseas.
The most recent person killed by terrorists was Adiel Coleman, a 32-year-old father of four who was stabbed to death in the Old City of Jerusalem in March on his way to the Western Wall.
In all the different terrorist attacks, 3,175 children have lost parents, including 114 who were orphaned from both parents; 822 have become widows and widowers, and 926 parents lost their children.
Yom Hazikaron in Jerusalem 2018
About Israel's Memorial Day
Israel Remembrance Day, called Yom Hazikaron in Hebrew, is Israel's official day of remembrance for fallen soldiers of Israel and victims of terrorism. It falls exactly one week after Holocaust Remembrance Day and considering the fact that casualties are very close to home in this small and young country, this day is extremely solemn. You will find places of entertainment closed, flags at half-mast and there are many ceremonies that take place in community centers and by memorials around Jerusalem and Israel.
In a way very unique to Israel, Remembrance Day flows straight into Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. As is often customary in Judaism, we remember the heartbreak with the joy. We acknowledge the direct connection between our loss and the independence and sovereignty that we appreciate so much today.
Yom Hazikaron is marked on the fourth day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. This year it is commemorated from the evening of Tuesday, April 17, 2018 until the evening of Wednesday, April 18 (when Independence Day begins).
All local media channels are focused on this day of grief and two sirens sound during the 24 hour period when people respectfully come to a standstill.
Here are some of the things happening around Jerusalem on Yom Hazikaron:
There are two sirens on Yom Hazikaron. A one minute siren sounds at 8:00 pm on Tuesday evening and a two minute siren sounds at 11:00 am on Wednesday. Similar to the siren on Holocaust Memorial Day, people generally stop whatever they are doing – even those driving on the highway – and stand at attention throughout the duration of the siren. It is highly recommended to stand outside for the sirens in order to experience the impact of almost an entire nation coming to a standstill in honor of those who died in order to gain and preserve our freedom.
Memorial Day Eve Events – April 17, 2018 State opening ceremony at the Western Wall
An annual ceremony takes place at the Western Wall as the official opening of Israel Remembrance Day. It begins with the one-minute siren at 8:00 pm which is heard throughout the country, during which the flag at the Western Wall is lowered to half-mast.
The ceremony is attended by Israel's President, Jerusalem Mayor, the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), VIPs, and a large audience of bereaved families.
This ceremony which includes prayers, speeches and the lighting of a memorial torch, is broadcast live on Israeli television channels.
Where: The Western Wall, Old City, Jerusalem When: 8:00 pm Tickets: Invitation only
Community Centers Memorial Ceremonies
Memorial ceremonies will take place at different neighborhoods around Jerusalem.
Ceremonies will include poetry readings and music, memorial candle lighting, flag lowering, wreath-laying, and reading the names of the fallen.
Ceremonies will take place in following community centers: Beit HaKerem, Kiryat Moshe, Baka, Gonenim, Gilo, French Hill, Homat Shmuel, Ginot Hair, Musrara, Lev Hair, Neve Ya'akov, Pisgat Ze'ev, Katamon, Kiryat HaYovel, Kiryat Menachem, Romema, Ramot Alon, Shmu'el HaNavi, East Talpiot and 27 Hatzfira Street (at 7:45 pm)
The memorial ceremonies will begin at 8:00 pm
Beit Avi Chai
A special screening of animated films from Face.Day.Memory project, with musical accompaniment and personal stories of survivors, wars, and terror attacks.
Where: Beit Avi Chai, 44 King George Street, Jerusalem When: April 17, 2018 at 9:30 pm Contact for more details: 072-3281853
Hansen House Ceremony
A commemoration ceremony honoring Israel's fallen soldiers featuring stories of courage and warfare by IDF war veterans.
Memorial Day Events — April 18, 2018 Ceremonies at Jerusalem Monuments
City officials, including the mayor and city council members, and high school students will lead ceremonies at monuments in the neighborhoods of Mishkenot Shaananaim/Yemin Moshe, Abu Tor, Ramat Rachel, Armon Hanatziv and Yaar Hashalom.
Where: Monuments around the city When: April 18, 2018 at 9:00 am
Memorial Day ceremony at Museum of Underground Prisoners
A commemoration ceremony in memory of Meir Feinstein and Moshe Barazani, members of Jewish Revisionist underground organizations, with the participation of veterans of the underground and other personalities.
A pre-organized shuttle service to the Mount of Olives will be available at the end of the ceremony.
Mayor Nir Barkat and City Manager Amnon Merhav, with representatives of the underground movements, Nahal, pupils of the Sligsberg School, guests and employees of the Municipality of Jerusalem. The ceremony will include words from Jerusalem Mayor, City Manager, Rabbi Yosef A. Wasserman, Chairman of the Jerusalem District Team, Kaddish reading by a bereaved father – a Psalms' chapter, and Yizkor prayer.
Where: Safra Square, Jerusalem When: April 18, 2018 at 9:15 am
Wreath laying ceremony at Mitzpor Haarbaa
A wreath laying ceremony attended by Jerusalem Deputy Mayor, bereaved families, Nahal soldiers and residents.
Where: Ha'Eyal Street, Malcha Neighborhood, Jerusalem When: April 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm
State ceremonies at Har Herzl
Attended by the Israeli Prime Minister, ministers, the mayor of Jerusalem, and families of fallen soldiers and victims of terror
Memorial Ceremony for Israel's Fallen Soldiers Where: Mount Herzl, Jerusalem When: April 18, 2018 at 11:00 am
State Commemoration Ceremony for Victims of Terrorism Where: Mount Herzl, Jerusalem When: April 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm
Attendees are asked to arrive by public transportation and avoid using private vehicles due to the expected increase in traffic congestion.
For information and details about parking and traffic during Memorial Day Eve and Israel's Memorial Day, please call 106 call center or call *8787 for CallKav call center.
Nefesh B'Nefesh, KKL-JNF to hold Remembrance Day ceremony in English
Speakers at the ceremony will include Deputy Minister Michael Oren, and Sherri and Seth Mandell, the parents of Koby Mandell, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in 2001. By JERUSALEM POST STAFF April 16, 2018 02:23
For English speakers in Israel, finding ceremonies that commemorate Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars in their native language is hard to come by.
Which is why Nefesh B'Nefesh and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund are hosting a special Remembrance Day ceremony for Anglo immigrants titled, "70 Years of Remembrance."
Speakers at the ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday evening at the First Station Hangar in Jerusalem, will include Deputy Minister Michael Oren; Sherri and Seth Mandell, the parents of Koby Mandell, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in 2001; and St.-Sgt. (res.) Sahar Elbaz.
"For many olim, celebrating Remembrance Day and Independence Day in Israel can be a powerful time to immerse themselves in what it truly means to be an Israeli citizen," said Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, the co-founder and executive director of Nefesh B'Nefesh, who is also scheduled to speak at the event. "Our hope with this year's ceremony is to create a meaningful and poignant Remembrance Day experience for English-speakers looking for a significant and emotional event in their native language."
For more information about the event, please visit: www.nbn.org.il/ yom-hazikaron-2018/
Yom Haatzmaut 2018 Events in Jerusalem
The first thing you will notice about Yom Haatzmaut is the emotional transition from the sadness of Yom Hazikaron, Israel's Day of Remembrance, to Israel Independence Day, an official national holiday which has become an important day in the Jewish calendar, being celebrated by Jewish communities around the world. Yom Haatzmaut begins at sundown immediately following Yom Hazikaron and ends after sundown the following day. It celebrates the declaration of independence of the State of Israel in 1948, making this the 70th anniversary!
Yom Haatzmaut is held on the fifth of the Hebrew month of Iyar. This year it falls on the evening of April 18, 2018 and celebrations last until the evening of April 19, 2018.
The state ceremony that brings in Yom Haatzmaut takes place at Mount Herzl, Israel's military cemetery, by Theodor Herzl's grave. And from there the city erupts with events, parties, outdoor get togethers, concerts and more!
Join a street party on Jaffa Street/Hillel Street/Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Street and soak in the authentic spirit of Independence Day with music, beverages, and lots of fun.
Wear clothes that you don't care about too much since they might get stained by all the foam sprayed at you throughout the night. Also beware you might get bopped on the head with huge, inflated blue and white hammers.
Looking for more street celebrations? Go to Machane Yehuda Market and you'll find another 3 DJ booths that will make you dance all night long.
When: 10:00 pm Cost: Free
Independence Day Concert at Jerusalem Theater
Jerusalem Theater will host the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra together with the Israel Broadcasting Authority and conductor Frederick Shazlan.
Where: Henry Crown Hall, Jerusalem Theater When: 9:30 pm For tickets call Tel. 1-700-70-4000.
Student Union Independence Day Party
This party will feature Israel's most popular DJ's that will get you dancing into the night. With stellar views of the Old City Walls – absolutely magical!
In case this is your first Yom Haatzmaut in Israel, you may as well be warned that an amazingly large amount of barbequing takes place on this important day. Parks and nature reserves are busy with Israelis who set up temporary homes for the day in order to grill their meat as a thanksgiving for this gift of a homeland.
If this is how you choose to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, grab your charcoal barbeque, your nafnaf (a piece of cardboard or plastic used to fan the coals to a perfect temperature), pita, meat and salads, arrive at the park of your choice early to get a perfect location, and enjoy the Jerusalem sunshine!
If on the other hand, you're looking for other ways to take in the day, there are plenty of events and many cultural institutions are open for free or with a minimum entrance fee.
The celebrations around Jerusalem start Monday evening, and almost anywhere you go in the city, you're sure to find some kind of event or party.
Be sure to dress warmly since Jerusalem's evenings can be chilly. And at midnight, look towards Independence Park (next to King George and Agron streets) for fireworks.
The official Independence Day ceremony that kicks off the festivities with the lighting of twelve beacons, one for each tribe of Israel. The ceremony will feature ceremonial units, Yizkor prayer, words by Chairman of the Knesset, torch-lighting, transfer of flags ceremony, military parade, singing of the hymn, the IDF disabled veterans' band, other military bands, and poetry reading. Entry by invitation only.
The main stage will feature live performances by Avi Messika, Shay Cohen, Yossi Azulay, Liron Amram, Balkan Beat Box, and Lior Narkis. Led by Elad Immadi.
Fireworks shows at 10:30 pm and 12:00 am.
Where: Independence Park, City Center, Jerusalem When: 10:00 pm Cost: Free
Celebrate Independence Day at Teddy Park
This celebration will include the Independence Day prayer and public singing and dancing into the night. Special guests: Daniel Zakkai and Alma Zohar.
When: 7:00 pm Cost: Free. Based on availability.
Independence Day at The First Station
The First Station is thrilled to host Independence Day events with a special ceremony by Kehilat Kol Haneshama – a reform Jewish congregation based in Jerusalem. Following the celebration, a festive evening prayer will be read.
Israel Museum welcomes the whole family to join a proper Independence Day celebration with hora dancing performances for all ages by local dance troupes, public folk dancing at 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, and a live musical performance by Amir Shraiber and the Israeli Groove. The band will be performing at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:00 pm.
Where: The Israel Museum, 11 Derech Ruppin Street, Jerusalem When: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Cost: Free for children. Adults – 20 NIS; Seniors – 10 NIS Contact: 02-6708811
Jerusalem Jubilee Celebrations at Tower of David Museum
Photo: Courtesy of Tower of David Museum PR
Celebrate Jerusalem's jubilee with free activities for the whole family centered around the symbol of Jerusalem and the symbol of the State of Israel. You'll find guidance stations, games, theater spectacles, and live music. A special Independence Day show will take place at 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm. See you there!
Where: Tower of David Museum, Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem When: Activities: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Museum Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm Cost: Free admission. Based on availability.
Jerusalem Time Elevator
Photo: Courtesy of Jerusalem Time Elevator
Celebrate Independence Day by going back in time! Before you go on and explore the city's beautiful landmarks, hop into the Jerusalem Time Elevator and get a quick tour around the complex and exceptionally rich history of the lovely city of Jerusalem. You can also choose to take the "I Jerusalem" virtual tour and visit Machane Yehuda Market, see the city from a bird's eye view, and understand the history, the culture, and of course – the people.
Check out the Independence Day festivities at the Bloomfield Science Museum built around the theme of "thinking outside the box". Visit a cardboard art exhibition, participate in cardboard design and building workshops for kids, enjoy the "Cartonella" show, and watch a fascinating 3D movie. You can experience it all at a reduced admission fee in honor of the holiday!
Where: Bloomfield Science Museum, Museum Row, Givat Ram, Jerusalem When: From 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Cost: Regular – 10 NIS; Free for children under 5 years of age. Film – 5 NIS
Free Guided Tours at Begin Center
Photo: Courtesy of Menachem Begin Heritage Center
How much do you know about Israel's history? Take advantage of this special day and enjoy a free tour for the whole family at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. During this incredible tour, you will be exposed to the rich life of one the country's most influential leaders – Menachem Begin. Please register in advance.
Join a true independence celebration at the Bible Lands Museum and enjoy 6 different tours for the whole family between 10:15 am – 2:00 pm. While you're here, watch a live show with Sarale Sharon at 11:00 am, and don't forget to visit "Gods, Heroes & Mortals in Ancient Greece" exhibition.
Where: 21 Shmuel Stephen Wise Street, Jerusalem When: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Cost: Free
Agnon House – For Families
This year is all about "drawing in books" at Agnon House. Come and celebrate Independence Day with a wide range of family-friendly activities.
Theatrical Tours at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Discussion with Author Nurit Zarchi and Illustrator Hila Chavkin at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Illustration, caricature, and comics workshops at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Illustrated theater "Chachamim Balayla" and open event at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Where: Agnon House, 16 Klauzner Street, Jerusalem When: From 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Cost: Free Contact: *2967
Traffic, Transportation and Parking on Yom Ha'atzmaut Eve & Day
For information and details about parking and traffic during Memorial Day Eve and Israel's Memorial Day, please call 106 municipality call center or call *8787 for CallKav call center.
THE WORLD HAS IT ALL WRONG. We have come to believe – whether from our teachers, or from our books that The Geula – the Final Redemption – will cause all of our pain and suffering to go away. How many times in history have Jews, individually and collectively longed for Moshiach(The Messiah) to come to alleviate us from our pain and suffering. From the hurbans – destructions of the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem, the expulsions, the massacres, the inquisitions. the false messiahs, the pograms, and the Shoah (Holocaust) came the cries for Moshiach, the wailing for the better times of the Geula. We sat there, longer for, cried for the expected healing of our problems that Moshiach would bring.
The World has it all wrong. It has it backwards. It is NOT that the Geula will bring the Healing. It is that the Healing will bring the Geula
To understand, we need to review what is the unique relationship Hashem (The Hebrew word for G-d, since we do not pronounce the actual name) has with Klal Yisrael (People of Israel). We only have to look at the holiday of Shavuot coming up for our answer. Shavuot (and later Yom Kippur) – Matan Torah – the time of the giving of the Torah – is the wedding day between Hashem and Klal Yisrael, where Hashem is the Chattan or groom, the masculine giving partner, and Klal Yisrael is the Kallah, the bride and feminine receiving partner .
But since our wedding day, unfortunately, the wedding has been a bit rocky. With Chutzpah and a stiff neck, we challenged Hashem ten times in the dessert, including the horrible calamities of the Het HaEgel (Golden Calf) and the Het HaMeraglim (Sin of the Spies). Through the great servants King David and King Solomon, Hashem brought the Beit HaMikdash (The Temple) into eistence, which was not just a physical structure but the resting place for the Divine / Hashem in the physical world. The Holy of Holies in the Temple is where Heaven touched Earth, where the Finite met the Infinite – and brought immense blessing to Klal Yisrael, including access to prophecy for millions. Hashem blessed us with great Shefa (abundance) and we repaid Him by chasing other gods through avoda zara – idol worship – which was tantamount to adultery.
This adultery led to Hurban -the first destruction of the Temple – which effectively was a separation in the marriage between Hashem & KlalYisrael. But it was not a Divorce. And like an all loving King who married a wayward queen, the King still kept an eye out watching over the queen and making sure she was protected to some degree.
So post Hurban – Destruction of the Temple – Klal Yirael has been subject to four Galuts – or exiles – of 1) Babylon 2) Persia 3) Greek and the longest by far, 4) Edom – or the Roman / Christian world, the exile that we are still in today. And these exiles – from our land, our sovereignty, and most importantly from intimate relationship with Hashem, have brought immense hardship, pain, suffering and anguish to Klal Yisrael through the exiles, persecutions, pograms, expulsions, decimations, inquisitions and the Holocaust.
And regardless that the fault of the separation lies clearly with Klal Yirael, this pain and suffering has in turn brought the entire litany of powerful negative emotions: Immense anger, bitterness, resentment, feeling unworthy and worthless, abandoned, disappointed, let down, loneliness, helplessness, giving up, confusion, sadness, sorrow, frustration, and hopelessness, etc.
Now let's put this all together. Hashem does NOT want to bring the Geula through pain and suffering. He wants it to come through our love and desire to reconnect to him, like a groom and bride – Chattan and Kallah – re-uniting after a painful separation. With this is mind, He wants us to energetically clear all the pain and suffering of the past FIRST, so when we re-unite with Him, it will be a truly loving reunion.
A few years ago, while in a deep meditative state at the famous oil room in Meron – which is the closest place to the opening of the Cave where Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, the author of the Zohar, is buried, I was quietly crying out for the answer to why there was so much pain for Klal Yisrael now. That is when this answer 'came down". "It is not the Geula that brings the Healing… It is the Healing that brings the Geula… and nobody wants a grumpy Kallah in the Yichud room (Room of intimacy post wedding)".
I was stunned, laughing and incredulous as what came down, but stunned nonetheless. What Hashem was telling us all is that there is so much pain and disconnect going on now because we are in a state of fixing the past, so when the reunion happens – at the revealed state of the Geula – than we will have a truly loving marriage and partnership with Hashem that was stronger than the initial one and indestructible.
And as someone who is a shaliach for Kabbalstic Healing to tens of thousands worldwide, I understood the process being described. In order for us to heal something, it must first come to the surface. Only then can we release it from our systems. So often when we are going through a particular challenge, we may think we are alone, but more likely today, we are working on doing Tikkunim – spiritual fixings – for all of KlalYisrael (or joint fixings on both a personal and communal level).
And often a specific area to fix comes at a particular time, sometimes based on the energy of the month. Two Erev Rosh Chodesh Eluls ago (the day before the first of the month of Elul, the month of repentance which precedes Rosh Hashana), I was also at Meron, praying for hundreds and hundreds at the grave of Rabbi Shimon. Many of these people were from my "chevra" or group that participates on my worldwide Kabbalistic Energy Healing Calls. So since we had a strong connection, most did not only send me names to daven (pray) for, but often stories and tales of woe of the pain they were in – whether physical, emotional, financial, family or romance challenges. And one friend from Florida, who sent me a late response, had thanked me profusely "… things have gotten so bad…. I am thinking of giving up… everything seemed hopeless… thank for davening… at least now there is some hope"
After reading and re-reading her message, it hit me that almost every other message I had received from the hundreds and hundreds I had been praying for – were effectively expressions of hopelessness as well. So it turned out, at that moment, our group was doing a collective Tikkun / fixing of Hopelessness for the Klal. And before and after have been many many other tikkuns for the Klal as well, focusing on different issues.
So Let's all stay focused, and with emunah, that when challenges are happening, they are basically part of something great, even if we can not see it yet. And to keep working in rectifying our middot – our character traits – as we are not only fixing ourselves, but we are sweetening and speeding up the Geula process.
Happy Rosh Chodesh Iyar
Chaim David Yosef Targan
Iyar 1, 5778 (Apil 16, 2018) Tzfat, Israel ChaimDavid.org
Since 1948: Israel's population has multiplied by 11
Israel's population currently stands at 8.842 million, according to statistics released by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of the country's 70th Independence Day celebrations. In the past year, the population grew by 163,000 people. Apr 16, 2018, 2:00PM Becca Noy
Before Israel's Independence Day celebrations later this week, the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released new statistics about the small country's population. According to the data that was released Monday, Israel is currently home to 8.842 million people.
Out of the 8.842 million Israelis, about 6.589 million (or 74.5 percent) of them are Jewish. With about 1.849 million members (or 20.9 percent of the total population), the Israeli-Arab population is the second-largest group. About 404,000 Israelis do not identify as Arab or Jewish.
Since last year's Independence Day celebrations, Israel's population has grown by 163,000 people, an increase of about 1.9 percent. In the past year, about 177,000 babies were born in Israel and about 41,000 people died. In addition, 28,000 Jewish people immigrated to Israel.
When Israel was established, there were only 806,000 citizens. According to CBS, Israel's population is expected to reach 15.2 million by the country's 100th Independence Day (in 2048).
See you tomorrow
Have a meaningful Yom Hazikaron and the following 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel on Thursday.