4/23/2007

Ignoring the Sirens

Every year, Israeli newspapers inevitably print photos of people, generally Chareidim, sitting or talking on their cellphone while the sirens wail and the country observes a moment of silence on Yom Ha-Sho’ah or Yom Ha-Zikaron. I’ve always wondered: who takes these pictures? Why weren’t they observing the moment of silence?

In truth, I think it’s important to observe these moments. It’s pretty silly at the end of the day, but there’s something solemn about an entire country standing still.

This year, I found an article with a different criticism; it talks about a chareidi wedding that took place in Israel on Yom Ha-Shoah. Apparently, it was a bunch of chutznikim who didn’t know any better. I do not want to justify what these people did. It is probably more than a touch insensitive to hold a wedding on Yom Ha-Sho’ah.

Still, it makes you wonder. Why can’t the same solemnity be extended to the more venerable Jewish holidays, flaunting of which equally offends different segments of Israeli society? If the average Israeli can develop an innate sense that it is inappropriate to get married on Yom Ha-shoah, aren’t there other observances which can become more mainstream

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