03 May 2009

Reflections of Remembrance Day in Israel while Waiting in the Doctor's Office


Originally published at Blogcritics Magazine, 27 April 2009
Copyright © R. Kossover, 2009

We still go to a doctor in Jerusalem, even though we live in the mountains to the north in Ma'ale Levona. It's a 2½ hour trip and a pain in the neck, but being the old codgers we are, we stick with folks we know and trust.

In spite of having gone to the same family doctors for nearly eight years, it still took me a while to realize that the male half of this practice likes good music from the '40s and '50's. The female doctor comes in and there is silence.

Behind the round, seemingly placid face of the Frenchman who is our doctor on duty today lies a painful tale. Like any good parent, he poured his love into his daughter. But one day, she was in downtown Jerusalem and a terrorist bomb ripped her to shreds. I'm not sure of the exact attack where she was killed. He never mentions this and we only found this out from (now former) neighbors who use him as a family doctor as well. But no matter which particular Arab bastard murdered his daughter, she is still just as dead, just as lost to her father and mother.

I only thought about this because today is Remembrance Day in Israel. We remember the soldiers who fell defending this country — and we remember the innocents blown to bits by our bloodthirsty neighbors.

I don't know if my doctor will go to a public ceremony — or merely visit his daughter's grave-site tomorrow. But I can bet my bottom dollar (we still have five of them, in fact) that he'll burn a memorial candle for the girl he lost eight years ago.

Twenty two thousand, five hundred and seventy souls sacrificed themselves for this land. And this young girl, cut dead in her youth, was one of them. May G-d comfort all those who grieve in Israel, the sons and the daughters, the brothers and the sisters, and the mothers and the fathers.

ברוך דיין האמת
barúkh dayán ha'emét - Blessed is the True Judge

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