When My 2-Year-Old Heard the Remembrance Day Siren
Last night my husband took the kids outside to hear the Tsfira—the siren heard throughout the country on Israeli Remembrance Day in honor of over 20,000 IDF soldiers who have been killed protecting the men, women, and children of Israel.
Before he set off, I bundled up 2-year-old Yaakov in his light-blue coat, and wiped his unruly blond bangs out of his eyes so I could look into them when I told him something very important, “Yaakov, you are going with Abba to hear the Tsfira. Today is a very sad day because we remember our holy soldiers who were killed.”
Yaakov nodded his head with a serious expression, and followed his Abba and his siblings out the door.
When they returned, I asked Yaakov whether he had heard the Tsfira.
“Yes, I heard the Tsfira. It went ‘Oooooooo.’”
“And do you know why there was a Tsfira?” I asked him, wondering whether my short explanation had sunk in at all.
“Yes, there was a Tsfira because it is Tsfirat Ha’omer. I heard the Tsfirat Ha’Omer.”
We all laughed, a rare flicker of levity on this saddest of days—the Tisha B’Av of modern Israel.
But when I gave it more thought I realized that most of us don’t know so much more than Yaakov when it comes to Yom HaZikaron.
Can we fathom what it feels like to hear that dreaded knock on the door at 2 AM announcing that a precious son, a father, a brother will never ever be coming home again?
Can we imagine that kind of heart-ripping grief?
And I pray that not one more family will ever have to experience it.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the brave soldiers who lost their lives so my family and I could live ours—in our beloved Land of Israel.