War Diaries Day 220 – From Mourning to Morning: A Path of Resilience, Strength and Unity

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One minute’s silence.

The whole country stops what they’re doing.

Wherever we are – at home, on the highway, walking in the street, sitting in a meeting – we all stop, stand up and become silent for a minute.

Yesterday was Memorial Day in Israel. A day to remember all lives lost. Our soldiers who fought in the wars to secure our Jewish State and civilians who lost their lives in acts of terror – more than 30,000 in total.

This year, the day was particularly heavy because we’re in the midst of war with many soldiers’ and civilians’ lives lost and 132 hostages still held in Gaza.

It’s been more than seven months since the 7th October. With every 7th of the month that passes, we struggle to believe the reality we’re living in, that another month has been added to the count, and the hostages are still there.

The minute of silence is bursting with emotions and I reflect on the fact that I have been silent in my writing for more than two months. Words fail to describe the emotions that I feel every day and I’ve just gone mute.

How do you express emotions that are sometimes too big to give voice to?

Emotions that can only be expressed with tears that sit right below our polished (and sometimes not so polished) exteriors, are held in place with all the energy I can muster. And then something happens – another loss, a piece of news, more hatred, more politics – and the dam breaks, the tears just flow, unstoppable.

The amount of sadness and heartbreak we’re holding in our hearts is often overwhelming, just too much, and yet, it’s astounding to notice how much heartbreak we can hold and still carry on. Our internal container holds it all.

That’s what being human means – holding all the sadness and still going on about our lives, finding moments of joy, of hope, of continuity of life and small miracles which need to be acknowledged and yes, even celebrated.

That’s what’s happening to us here, in Israel, over the last two days. Yesterday was Memorial Day. Today is Independence Day – the day we get to celebrate our country and celebrate our heroes. These are the heroes who make it possible for us to live in our country and keep us safe – the reason we can continue to build this country with a sense of pride and hope for the future.

As we move through these two days, we are moved from loss to gratitude, from sadness to joy, from heartbreak to hope. We know it’s not just a move from one end to the other but rather a journey, where we witness the unwavering resilience, strength and unity of the Israeli people and the Jewish people, as a whole. We get to feel the entire spectrum of feelings that are ever present in the kaleidoscope of our lives.

On this Day 220, for our 132 hostages: Know that you are not alone. We stand as one, committed to your safe return, fuelled by the indomitable spirit that binds us together.

Together, we honour our past, embrace our present, and shape the future of our cherished country with unwavering resolve.

With unity, love, courage and faith, we will get through this.

If you have a Jewish friend, or know someone living in Israel, reach out with a kind word and show them you care. All the love and support mean the world to us right now.

Am Yisrael Chai 🇮🇱

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