Yahrzeit by Liat Taiber Ben-David
"A state is not handed to a people on a silver platter." -Haim Weizmann, first president of Israel, 1948. Four generations of strong, dedicated women live through one of the greatest, most intriguing and dangerous times in Jewish history - 120 years of Zionism. Spinning a web of struggle, joy, tragedy and love, Yahrzeit uncovers the dramatic journey of a family and the rebirth of a nation. In Yahrzeit (memorial days), the family matriarchs take us on a dramatic journey through time, during the most important events of modern history in Israel. These women are fortified through troubled times by the spirits and traditions of the past, and create their own tradition - the "Yahrzeit candle lighting ceremony." By perpetuating this ritual, started in Russia by one of the two matriarchs in 1880, the women of the family transform the days of the ancient holiday of Hannukah, the Jewish holiday celebrating independence and victory, into days of personal remembrance of the journey of a remarkable family during remarkable times. Continued in Jerusalem, Lebanon, Palestine, the United States and Israel, the Yahrzeit candle-lighting ceremony becomes a symbol of the love and inescapable commitment of these women toward their people and family alike.