When My 2-Year-Old Heard the Remembrance Day Siren

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.

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.


  1. You are right today is a day of gratitude for the fallen soldiers and Yom haatsmaout is a day of gratitude for the jewish sovereignty Hashem gave us again on our beloved land!

  2. today we honor my uncle, Yitzchak ben Eliezer Zilberman. He fell in the first Latrun attempt in the War of Independence.
    just as we learn that saving a person’s life is equal to saving a whole world, losing one life is like losing a whole world: children, grandchildren, cousins, uncles & aunts…. we cannot put into words the effect of living with such a loss, even one that happened 67 years ago…

    may their holy souls merit an “aliyah l’nishama” and continue to protect us from shomayim…

  3. More people are touched by the tragedy of losing someone in the various wars Israel has had to endure than not. New olim have not had their sons, fathers, or brothers vulnerable, but I think most citizens who have been there for 20 or more years have felt this loss in some way, especially those that have been living in Israel since its birth. Even those of us who don’t live in Israel owe them a tremendous sense of obligation for their heroism in defending our Jewish people. May we soon merit the day when all of us will be safe.

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