It was almost exactly three months ago that Yoseph Goodman fell to his early death and we 'joined' a group that we would have been happy to avoid. On days like today there are names that pop into our heads as we remember the martyrs of Israel--Yoseph Goodman, Koby Mandell & Yosef Ishran, Yehuda Shoham, Tsachi Sasson, Dr. David Applebaum and, unfortunately many others. Today, I add another name to the list, Alex Singer.
Alex died on his birthday, September 15, 1981 when he was killed by terrorists in South Lebanon. An article appeared in today's Jerusalem Post which you can read here. His family just launched a website, www.alexsinger.org to continue to use Alex's life to educate and inpsire others. I think grasping Yom HaZikaron and giving it meaning (especially for those who aren't in Israel) is made easier by personalizing the day through learning about one of our heroes. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read a little about Alex or any other hero of Israel.
Alex wrote to his brother Saul (a Jerusalem Post columnist) a few months before his death:
"The purpose of my aliya will be a combination of wanting a greater chance to make my Judaism one of joy rather than one of burdens, of wanting to be part of Israel's development both as a state and as a beacon, and of feeling that it is the duty of the individual Jew to help the Jewish people."
Like us, Alex chose to make Israel his home and to tie his destiny to the Jewish people. Even today, almost two years after we arrived, it is sometimes difficult to explain to friends and family who are still in the States, why we made Aliyah. I think this quote captures our sentiments beautifully.
Wishing that we never bury another soldier or innocent civilian and remembering Alex, Yoseph, Koby, David, Tzachi, Yehuda, Tzvika and too many others.
Take a moment from your day and hear our siren.