By Rachel Gold
· The number of IDF (Israel Defence Force) fallen from November 1947 until today is 18,939.
· The number of fallen between prior to 28.11.47 (non-IDF personnel) is 1,593.
· The number of fallen in Israel's wars from 1860 until the present day is 20,532. (This number includes disabled IDF veterans who later died from their wounds and non-IDF personnel who fell in the line of duty).
· There are 17,967 members of bereaved families, as follows: 3285 widows, 4457 single bereaved parents, 4029 bereaved parents (couples) - 8058 individuals, 2167 orphans.
· There are 79,239 disabled veterans.
· The total population of bereaved families and disabled IDF veterans cared for by the Defense Ministry Rehabilitation department numbers is currently 97,206.
After reading this report, it is difficult to put my feelings into words. Although I live outside of Israel, I look to Israel with hope and pride. This day of Yom Hazikaron, is a time for all Jews to recognize the huge sacrifice made by those who died and bled, fighting for the State of Israel, as well as the price they and their families have paid, so that Israel could grow and flourish as its own nation.
The Talmud says, "Kol Yehudim aruvim zeh leh zeh."...All Jews are responsible for one another." As a Jew outside of Israel I feel that Israel's loss is my loss too. War is very costly...the highest price being life. Israel has fought for survival...for a right to exist, (and continues to do so today). Through this high cost came triumph and hope for the Jewish people.
As a result of those we remember and reflect upon today, Israel celebrates her 51st birthday tomorrow. It is with a bittersweet semblance that I say, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISRAEL...ISRAEL ADMATENU!"