And now, a message from your Friendly Neighborhood Shlicha.
It’s my first Passover in America, and as it my first Passover, it’s also the first time in my life I ask myself a few questions around this holiday. The number four comes up a lot in Passover, and it also has special significance for me – my birth day April 4th, my lucky number and four different events I’d like to share coming up in St. Paul. All of the events are related to Yom HaZikaron – Israel’s Memorial Day.
Yom HaZikaron became important to me when I lost my friend during the operation in Gaza in 2014. In the final days of the operation, my class friend, Nadav Raymond, who was also a third generation in his Paratroopers unit, was in an officer’s course. Nadav did a guard duty with six more soldiers in Kibbutz Nahal-Oz next to Gaza. Nadav loved to serve in the army and wanted to be an officer who shared his values with his soldiers.
Nadav was a positive person, loved nature, his friends and loved to do sports and bike. It all ended when Nadav was nineteen, and was murdered by Hamas terrorists who infiltrated from an underground tunnel to Israel and during a gunfight, killed Nadav and four more soldiers.
I remember feeling like the world was closing on me. I am usually a positive person but I just could not find the bright side and instead asked question after question, like “why it happened to me”, “why good people have to die” and “why there are wars?” Without answers, I at least vowed to keep Nadav’s memory alive, and hopefully to honor him. This also inspired me to make it a point during my shlichut to help share Yom Ha’Zikaron with as many people as I could. Regardless of your politics, I hope you can join me in honoring his memory, and the memory of all soldiers who have fallen in defense of Israel at the four upcoming community events/programs in St. Paul.
Upcoming Saint Paul Events
Gone Too Soon Exhibit- March 16-April 17 all the St. Paul locations
I only got the chance to share with you Nadav’s story in this post. But we’ve made a series of posters, which will be featured all over the St. Paul community, that tell the story of 35 other soldiers who fell in defense of Israel. We welcome you to visit any of the locations and experience the amazing stories of the Israeli soldiers who left us too soon.
Taste of Memory 1- Sunday, April 8, 12:15 p.m. – Mount- Zion Temple
Join the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul for a special day to cook, eat, and learn the story of Nadav Raymond, who lost his life in the Gaza operation in 2014. We’ll make his favorite cake, a dish chosen especially by his family, and learn his story.
Taste of Memory 2- Sunday, April 15, 10:30 a.m. – Temple of Aaron
The second installation will be another opportunity to cook, eat, and learn a story about a fallen Israeli soldier, this time about Sharon Chen , who lost his life after the Gaza operation in 2014 when he went to sleep and never woke up again. We’ll make his favorite cake, a dish chosen especially by his family, and learn his story.
Yom Ha’Zikaron- Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m. – Beth Jacob Congregation
Israel wouldn’t be turning 70 without the incredible sacrifice of the Israel Defense Force soldiers. Commemorating their bravery goes hand in hand with celebrating Israel. Join in St. Paul or Minneapolis, to honor the lives of fallen soldiers on Yom Hazikaron.
Israel @ 70
Remembering Israel’s fallen is a job only half done if we do not celebrate the reason for their sacrifice. Come see one of the biggest names in Israeli Music today – Cafe Shachor Hazak, along with Kosha Dillz, Abbie Strauss, and a bunch of local and Israeli artists. Food, games, community, and adult beverages.
For more information, contact Tal Dror at [email protected] or 651-353-2670.