Toronto native Effie Mincer describes being in Israel for the back-to-back national observances of Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror) and Yom Haatzmaut (Independence Day) as a “life-changing” experience.
“We’ve always had ceremonies at school to commemorate those days and what they stand for, but I’ve never fully understood what it was all about until I was in Israel two years ago during my gap year in Yeshiva,” says Mincer, 20.
“Visiting the graves of those who’ve fought and died for our country shook me to my core. I’ve never truly understood the immense sacrifices that have been made in order for us to have the modern state of Israel. And only after understanding and internalizing all that loss, can you truly celebrate the next day, realizing how lucky we are to have the state of Israel as it is today.”
On August 16, Mincer had another life-changing experience, this time with concrete implications: He made Aliyah (immigration to Israel) with Nefesh B’Nefesh. Currently a madrich (guide) at Yeshivat Aish Hatorah in Jerusalem, he plans to complete an industrial engineering degree at the Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) within the next five years.
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