It is one of the most difficult weeks in Israel. Two of the most significant days of the year are commemorated within a week of each other. Last Monday was "Yom Hashoah v'Hagevurah" - Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. The link is to my blog entry from 2012.
Tonight marks the start of Yom Hazikaron in Israel - Memorial Day for Israel's fallen soldiers and victims of terror. I have provided a link to one of my previous blogs about this emotional day.
But I wanted to focus this time on a different aspect of this sombre day - the use of music. Much of the most beautiful Israeli music has been written about loss, about war and about those who have fallen. On Yom Hazikaron, the radio and TV stations play special Yom Hazikaron music all day. At commemorative ceremonies, many different singers perform these songs throughout the country. One can't help but weep while listening to so many of these songs, often written by those who have suffered the loss of a family member, close friend or fellow soldier.
In this youtube collection of Yom Hazikaron songs, Yaniv Siso has put together a collection of 99 songs. He has dedicated the collection to his brother Netanel, who fell at the age of 23 while serving in the Israeli Defence Forces.
There are so many songs that it would be difficult to choose the most recommended. But I have always found this song to be incredibly powerful - it is called "Ma Avorech" (link includes lyrics and tranlation)
This next piece is a powerful song by Boaz Sharabi - "kshe Tavo" - "when you come back," which is dedicated to Israeli Air Force pilot Ron Arad who went missing in 1986.
And finally, I thought it would be worthwile this song "Tzair L'Netzach," performed by Rami Kleinstein:
These are just a few examples of the powerful music that Israelis might hear on Yom Hazikaron. It is really a unique aspect of the commemoration of such a solemn holiday. Certainly, I cannnot think of anything comparable in Canada or the United States. This music stirs the hearts and souls of Israelis everywhere as they remember those who have fallen - and as they sing and hope for an end to the wars and strife that have plagued Israel and the Middle East.