My nation lives, my son is born

My new baby boy Amichai Elisha was born on ה׳ אייר, on the 69th anniversary of the foundation of the Jewish State in Israel. There was a lot of speculation that we would choose a name for him that would be apropos to the day with a name such as Amichai, but the truth is we had our Ruach Hakodesh, Divine Inspiration over 5 years ago when pregnant with Ayelet, in case she was a boy. But even though we had it picked out already, the birthday definitely helps enrich and emphasise the context of his name. Amichai is a concatenation of two words, Ami – my nation – and Chai – life, literally “my nation lives.” Our Amichai was born on the anniversary of the founding of the state, which is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, memorial day for our nation’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror. This year the two days were celebrated one day late to preserve the sanctity of Shabbat, such that this year Amichai was born on Yom Hazikaron.

Yom Hazikaron is a powerful day full of emotions all around the country and the world. Amichai was born just 3 hours before the morning air-raid siren sounded throughout the country, bringing the nation to a literal standstill for two minutes to remember the fallen. He was born 300 meters away from the National Military cemetery, Har Hertzel, where the State memorial ceremony takes place. I think that the name Amichai takes a very specific meaning on Yom Hazikaron where, in the midst of national mourning and remembrance we brought a new soul into the nation, and we can proudly declare that Ami-Chai, my nation lives.

3 hours after he was born, I attended the memorial ceremony at the hospital. Battles don’t always end on the battlefield. Bus bombings, stabbings, and shootings don’t always end in the streets. The wounded are rushed to hospitals such as Shaarei Tzedek where the fight for life continues. The scales of life and death are tipped one way or another in operating rooms and ICUs. On Yom Hazikaron, surrounded by a crowd comprised mostly of hospital staff, I gained a new perspective on the fight against those who mean us harm, the fight to preserve life, and those at the front line of the medical efforts to salvage lives and limbs. Bearing the emotional scars of patients they could not save, I stood with them for the siren, remembering those that were lost. But I did feel a little different that Yom Hazikaron morning. We just brought a new life into the nation in that same hospital where some of our nation’s wounded lost their lives because Ami-Chai, my nation lives.

Yom Hazikaron at Shaarei Tzedek

As hard as Yom Hazikaron is, the nation’s founders did not want us to leave off on a sad note. As Yom Hazikaron gives way into Yom Ha’atzmaut, the jubilation is palpable. Fireworks, fighter jets, and barbecues galore, together we celebrate all that our nation has accomplished, and look forward to all of the potential available for us to achieve. ה׳ אייר is a sigh of relief, a time to laugh, put aside our differences and celebrate the tremendous opportunity to struggle together, build together, reason together, debate together, and even disagree together. Because life isn’t simple, and there’s no Right Way to build a multi-faceted, diverse, living country like ours, on Yom Ha’atzmaut we can all go out to the parks and just hang out together as a nation. A nation that governs itself, defends itself, develops itself, and decides its own fate. Ami-Chai, my nation lives.

Max Rabin

Posted by Max Rabin

Max Rabin studied Software Engineering at the Jerusalem College of Technology. He builds software services using Cloud technologies. He's currently building a new way to shop for clothing online at Craze

Leave a Reply