Days of Remembering
Posted: April 27
The zman after Pesach is remarkable for its varied and numerous days of remembering and marking moments in the history of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. For each of Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, Yom HaAtzmaut, and Yom Yerushalayim our goal is to give students a deep appreciation of the intense challenges, dilemmas and struggles that were experienced by those who lived through the events which allowed us to be where we are today, living in an independent State of Israel. Through movies, discussions, shiurim and guest speakers, students receive both general information and intensely personal reflections on the times.
Yom HaShoah programming included an evening guest lecture by Dr. Ricki Bernstein, a clinical social worker specializing in trauma, and also a daughter of survivors who spoke about treatment for trauma and her experience as a Second Generation survivor. On the following day Rav Susman gave his annual shiur in memory of his mother on “Halachic Dilemmas in the Shoah”, followed by guest speaker, Jeremy Leigh, with “Films and the Shoah” and “Holocaust Memorials”.
On Yom HaZikaron we will hear guest speakers Noa Lev, mother of Captain Chaggai Lev who fell in battle, as well as Dr. Elaine Hoter, mother of Gavriel Hoter killed in the Friday night attack in the Otniel Yeshiva.
In the evening students attend the national ceremony at the Kotel (how easy to get there from the Midrasha and then receive biographies of fallen soldiers whose graves they will visit on the morning of Yom HaZikaron at Har Herzl after a shiur from Rav Shames on Halacha and Etiquette in a Cemetery. The afternoon includes films dedicated to the fallen.
Rav Yonatan eases the student transition from the poignant memories of Yom HaZikaron to the simcha of Yom HaAtzmaut with his talk on "From Sadness to Joy - A Tefila of Thanksgiving" after which the evening is spent at the tefilla at the Kotel and a fabulous party with the Israeli students, with a tiyul and barbeque to round it all out on Yom HaAtzmaut day.
It is an awesome responsibility to convey to our students the depth of the sacrifice and the loss suffered by those who remember their loved ones at this time. The programming on each of these remarkable days makes an indelible impression that will surely stay with each student for many years to come.