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Yom HaZikaron for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terror: Let the “holy” stickers speak

סטיקרי זכרון

* Translated by Janine Muller Sherr

Today is Erev Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day)in Israel. If you haven’t been to Israel lately, you’d be surprised to find the walls of this country covered with stickers of the faces of the fallen.

You see them everywhere: at train and bus stations, on bumper stickers, store entrances, and in almost every empty public space. Stickers of young, smiling faces along with a short phrase intended to capture their unique essence and irreplaceable personality.

We are approaching very emotional and difficult days. So, I’ve decided that on Erev Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut, I will let the stickers speak for themselves. More than 1,500 precious souls have gone to heaven since Simchat Torah; if each one of them could send us a message, what would it be?

In a Tel Aviv train station, I stood looking at the stickers on the walls. A common theme emerging from these stickers? The importance of remembering to smile.

“Don’t forget to smile,” Staff Sgt. Yakir Levi

“Don’t let the world change your smile; let your smile change the world.” Staff Sgt. Dor Lazimi

“Don’t forget to smile when you wake up in the morning.” Lt. Dekel Suissa

“Where’s your smile?” Staff Sgt. Yakir Hexter

“Life is so much easier when you just smile.” Staff Sgt. Roey Weiser

And here are some more voices. this time from stickers at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem:

“Say little and do much.” Staff Sgt. Achiya Deskel

“We are constantly making progress.” Yehonatan Ben Keren

“May we go to sleep every night feeling that we have done our best.” Lt. Ariel Reich

“Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never give up.”
Sgt. Hillel Solomon

These days, on the Shabbatot between Pesach and Shavuot, we immerse ourselves in the study of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), which is filled with memorable teachings on ethics and proper behavior.  Wise aphorisms are attributed to various sages, each one introduced with the words: “He used to say..”

And today, the walls of our country are also crying out: “He used to say…”  “She used to say….”

If only we could live up to the inspiring words on our walls.


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