Selected Readings for Remembrance Day
 REMEMBRANCE DAY/INDEPENDENCE DAY 1998
  INTRODUCTION  |  REMEMBRANCE  DAY  READINGS  |  INDEPENDENCE  DAY  READINGS  |  50  YEARS  OF  SONG  |  PM  SPEECHES  
 Selected Readings for Remembrance Day
 
 Selected Readings for Remembrance Day
    
Selected Readings for Remembrance Day
 Selected Readings for Remembrance Day
  

 

 

 

 Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

 

  

Yizkor

May God remember the valiant men and women who braved mortal danger in the days of struggle prior to the establishment of the State of Israel and the soldiers who fell in the wars of Israel.

May the people of Israel cherish them in their memory; let them mourn the splendor of youth, the altruism of valor, the dedication of will and the dignity of self-sacrifice which came to an end on the battlefield.

May the loyal and courageous heroes of freedom and victory be sealed forever within the hearts of all Israel, in this generation and forevermore.

Hebrew text

 

Memorial Service for Members of the Israel Defense Forces

O God, full of mercy, Who dwells on high, grant proper rest in the wings of the Divine Presence in the lofty level of the holy and the pure ones, who shine like the glow of the firmament for the souls of the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces who met their deaths in the wars of Israel, in action of defense, retaliation and security, while fulfilling their missions and during their service, and to the souls of all the fighters of the underground organizations and the fighting units in the nations battles, and all the men and women of the intelligence community and the security and police forces who gave their lives in the sanctification of Gods Name and, with the help of the God of the armies of Israel, brought about the rebirth of the nation and the state and the redemption of the Land and the City of God, as well as all those who were murdered, in Israel and abroad, by murderers of the terrorist organizations, by virtue of our prayers for the ascent of their souls. May the Merciful One therefore shelter them in the shelter of his wings for eternity; and may He bind their souls in the Bond of Life. The Lord is their heritage, Eden their place of rest. May they repose in peace in their resting places, may their merit reflect on all of Israel, and may they meet their destiny in the End of Days. Now let us respond: Amen.

Hebrew text

 


 

 

 

 Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

 

   The Silver Platter
Nathan Altermam

"A State is not handed to a people on a silver platter" –
Chaim Weizmann, first president of Israel

The Earth grows still.
The lurid sky slowly pales
Over smoking borders.
Heartsick, but still living, a people stand by
To greet the uniqueness
of the miracle.

Readied, they wait beneath the moon,
Wrapped in awesome joy, before the light.
— Then, soon,
A girl and boy step forward,
And slowly walk before the waiting nation;

In work garb and heavy-shod
They climb
In stillness.
Wearing yet the dress of battle, the grime
Of aching day and fire-filled night

Unwashed, weary unto death, not knowing rest,
But wearing youth like dewdrops in their hair.
— Silently the two approach
And stand.
Are they of the quick or of the dead?

Through wondering tears, the people stare.
"Who are you, the silent two?"
And they reply: "We are the silver platter
Upon which the Jewish State was served to you."

And speaking, fall in shadow at the nation’s feet.
Let the rest in Israel’s chronicles be told.

  • Hebrew lyrics

     

     

     

     

     

     Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

     

       And my Brother Said Nothing
    Amir Gilboa

    My brother came back from the field
    dressed in gray. And I was afraid that
    my dream might prove false, so at once
    I began to count his wounds.
    And my brother said nothing

    Then I rummaged in the pockets of the trench-coat
    and found a field-dressing, stained and dry.
    And on a frayed postcard, her name –
    beneath a picture of poppies.
    And my brother said nothing.

    Then I undid the pack
    and took out his belongings, memory by memory.
    Hurrah, my brother, my brother, the hero,
    now I’ve found your decorations!
    Hurrah, my brother, my brother, the hero,
    I shall proudly hymn your name!
    And my brother said nothing.
    And my brother said nothing.

    And his blood was crying out from the ground.

  • Hebrew lyrics

     

     

     

     

     

     Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

     

       Those who Live by their Virtue Will Say
    Uri Zvi Greenberg

    They were the chosen… They sang… Now their voices are silent.
    The true sons of the race of David that fell with their sword in their hand
    Simple and lovely like young David of the Shepherd Clan…
    And they shall praise Thee, O Lord, from the dust theyve returned to!
    The dust Thou created them from is the dust of death…
    This kind of dust whereof Thou createth primeval man.
    The Temple Mount and the Rock –
    From that dust theyll praise Thee…Immortal are they!
    There is no truth, there is no glory but them.
    And we, in this world, do live by their virtue.
    And by their splendor we prosper.
    Whoever looks unto their graves will neer be enslaved any longer.

  • Hebrew lyrics

     

     

     

     

     

     Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

     

       The Third Mother
    Nathan Alterman

    Mothers are singing. Mothers are singing.
    A fist of thunder bangs down. Strong silence.
    Red-bearded lamps are marching
    in the empty streets in rows.

    Autumn mortally ill, weary,
    inconsolable autumn,
    rain without beginning or end.
    No candle in the window, no light in the world,
    three mothers sing.

    I hear one of them say:
    "He was here but yesterday.
    I shall kiss his every fingernail and finger.
    I see a tall ship in a calm bay,
    and my son from the topmast hanging."

    And the second one says:
    "My son is tall and quiet.
    I am sewing a holiday shirt for my dear.
    He’s walking in the fields. He will soon be here.
    And he holds in his heart a lead bullet."

    And the third mother says with her wandering eyes:
    "No one was dearer or kinder…
    Who shall weep when he comes if I cannot see?
    I do not know where he finds him."

    And she bathed her eyelashes with weeping.
    Perhaps he is only resting. Perhaps
    in foreign places he measures
    the paths of Your world, O God,
    (Like a wandering monk) with kisses.

     

     

     

     

     

     Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

     

       The Parade of The Fallen
    Hayim Hefer

    They come from the mountains,
    from the valley, from the desert,
    They come – names, faces, eyes –
    and stand for the parade.
    They come in a masculine step,
    strong and sunburnt,
    They emerge from the shattered planes
    and from the burnt tanks;
    They rise from behind the rocks, from across
    the dunes, from connecting ditches,
    Brave as lions, tough as tigers, swift as eagles,
    And they pass one by one
    beween two rows of angels,
    Who feed them candy and place flowers
    around their necks;
    And I look at them, and all of them are happy.
    These are my brothers, these are my brothers.

    And they meet one another,
    black eyes and blue and brown,
    And they remind each other of names,
    and weapons, and places,
    And pour each other cups of coffee and tea
    And burst suddenly together shouting: "Hi, Boy!"
    And they meet in the large assemblage,
    friends and comrades,
    And officers slap the privates’ shoulders
    and the privates shake the officers’ hands,
    And they burst in song and clap hands
    And all the dwellers of heaven listen to them
    beside themselves,
    And the get-together lasts a day and a night,
    and a day and a night,

    Because such a bunch has not yet been above!
    And then suddenly they hear familiar voices cry,
    And they look homeward at father and mother,
    at the wives, children and brothers,
    And their faces are silent
    and they stand perplexed
    And then someone quickly whispers:
    Forgive us, but we had to!
    We won the battles and now we are resting.
    These are my brothers, these are my brothers.

    And so they stand, the light on their faces,
    And the Lord alone passes among them,
    With tears in His eyes He kisses their wounds
    And He says in a trembling voice
    to the white angels:
    These are my sons,
    these are my sons!

  • Hebrew lyrics

     

     

     

     

     

     Selected Readings for Remembrance Day

     

       The Paratroopers Cry
    Hayim Hefer

    This wall has heard many prayers
    This wall has seen the fall of many other walls
    This wall has felt the touch of mourning women
    This wall has felt petitions lodged between its stones.
    This wall saw Rabbi Yehuda Halevi trampled before it
    This wall has seen Caesars rise and fall
    But this wall had never seen paratroopers cry.

    This wall saw them tired and wrung out
    This wall saw them wounded, mutilated
    Running to it with excitement, cries and silence.
    And creeping as torn creatures in the alleys of the
    Old City
    And they are covered with dust and with parched lips
    They whisper, "If I forget thee, if I forget thee Jerusalem
    They are swift as eagles and strong as lions
    And their tanks – the fiery chariot of Elijah the Prophet
    They pass by with noise
    They pass by a stream
    They remember the 2,000 awful years
    In which we had not even a wall to place our tears
    before

    And here they stand before it and breathe in dust
    Here they look at it with sweet pain
    And tears run down and they look at one another perplexed
    How does it happen that paratroopers cry?
    How does it happen that they touch this wall
    with great emotion?
    How does it happen that their weeping
    changes to song?
    Perhaps because these boys of 19,
    born at the same time as the state,
    carry on their shoulders – 2,000 years.

  • Hebrew lyrics