Do you remember, back in the day, when you needed a phone number? You would dial 0 for an operator (dial means to place your finger on a number with a corresponding hole and rotate the dial clockwise until you reach the metal stop).  You would request a phone number from an operator, who would then provide you with the number you were looking for. 

Warning: Parts of this article may be considered unpleasant, especially for those on the squeamish side.  You can stop reading right now.  I won’t be insulted.  I won’t ever even know.  But if you continue, you do so at your own risk.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My husband and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary.  I thought we were going to do what we do most years - meaning we would not go out on our actual anniversary because we got married on Lag BaOmer.  On Lag BaOmer, we are usually at someone else’s wedding, which is okay because it’s a nice way to relive our wedding on our exact anniversary without having to pay for the expenses of a band, flowers, and catering for a crowd. It’s a big celebration, often with many of our friends and/or family in attendance, with someone else footing the bill.  Not bad at all. But this year, in a rare occurrence, we weren’t invited to a wedding. 

I believe that many of us will always remember exactly where we were when we heard the incomprehensible news that 45 precious souls had been taken from our midst in the largest civilian disaster in Israeli history, which took place at Har Meron on Lag BaOmer last year.

I’m a genuine genealogy junkie. (Try saying that sentence fast ten times. Okay, you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but don’t say I never offer interactive articles.)  Getting back to the topic at hand - I feel a mental, emotional, and even physical thrill whenever I come across new information. Every tidbit, no matter how small or trivial, is a piece of the puzzle of my family history. This puzzle is the most challenging one I’ve ever done. There is no picture to use as a reference point.  The pieces don’t come in a box.  It takes an inordinate amount of time, which I most often don’t have.  And it will never be completely finished.  But it’s also the most enjoyable and rewarding puzzle I’ve ever done.  It’s not a two-dimensional flat thin object; rather it’s something above time and place, providing me with eye-opening information about my roots, and filling me with pride regarding my lineage.  The further back in time I go, the more intriguing the information.  I’ve traveled across continents to remote villages where people walk around with pickaxes and chickens roam freely the streets, to get a taste of what life was like for my ancestors who lived there about a century ago. 

We are a nation that remembers. We remember Yetzias Mitzrayim every day, we fast to commemorate events that happened thousands of years ago, and we remember the events of most recent generations, including our own.  We are now in the time period when we remember the victims of the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah, as well as the fallen soldiers and victims of terror on Yom HaZikaron.  As the number of living Holocaust survivors decreases, there are those who are determined to make sure that the Holocaust is never forgotten.