The Power of Memory

I remember being 7 years old and frightened. Holding tightly to my sisters and brother, sitting quietly in the below the ground shelter of our apartment building. My dad was just drafted that day to join the Israeli military efforts in the surprised war no one expected taking place on THAT DAY, and my mom suddenly remembering that she left a pot on the stove, so she ran upstairs promising to return as soon as she could.

It felt as if a century passed since she left, while in reality it must have been a few minutes.

The fear in a child’s heart. It was Yom Kippur war- 1973. I vividly remember the shelter which we shared with the other neighbors. We all sat quietly. Waiting for the siren to sound to let us know we can leave the shelter and return to our homes.

Every Israel Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron, I remember that day. The day my dad returned home from the synagogue, (running will be more accurate description) and a truck coming to pick him and many of the men in our building. To go and protect our land. Israel.

I often talk about the four relationships everyone should have to live wholeheartedly. Memory is part of the fourth one- the relationship we have with the life events we experienced and how it formed and shaped our life. Each and every one of us is unique and different because of our life’s journey.

This memory has been one of events in my life that makes me who I am. Until today, the sound of a siren pierces my soul. What we remember and the way we remember it, color our perception and shape our reality. Even until today.

What memories impacted you in your youth? And what life’s lessons have you learned from it?

Are you able to shift a negative memory and glean from it a positive lesson?

For me- Yom Hazikaron is a sacred day- a day to reflect, be saddened at the loss of lives Israelis had to sacrifice so that we would have a country to call our own. A day to listen to Israeli TV, YouTube, live streams and zooms filled with stories and accounts of what was. A day to honor lives lost. A day to hope for a better peaceful future. A day to learn from the past.

Because only when we know our history, can we safeguard our future.