I was probably not older than 12 when I was watching a movie with my mother about JFK's assassination. I can so vividly remember my mother proudly telling me that something like this could not happen in a Jewish state, and I was overcome with that sense of pride. Who could have known then that in fewer than 3 years this proud statement would brutally be proven to be erroneous.
The significance of Yitzchak Rabin's assassination is beyond politics. At the time of the murder I was not a supporter of Rabin's views and actions. In fact, I believed that what he thought would bring peace would in fact bring upon us greater bloodshed. But I cried that Saturday night, I cried bitterly. I cried over the pure sense of pride that had been instilled in me and was now senselessly shattered. We were no longer any different or better than any other nation, at least in regard to violence.
Unfortunately, I was unable to digest those feelings through the normal process people must go through when faced with a traumatic event. The next morning we awoke into a state where it was embarrassing and possibly even dangerous to wear a kipa on ones head. The entire Religious Zionist community was being vilified for the prime minister's death. It isn't very easy to mourn appropriately when you are unjustly being blamed for the murder of the one who is being mourned. Definitely not when you're a teenager.
The situation hasn't changed much in regard to who is held responsible for Rabin's death. Every year Rabin's memorial day becomes a whole political production where if one wishes to mourn the inconceivable assassination of Israel's leader after 2000 years of exile, he must accept the views and actions of that same individual. Memorial day is and has been a rally at which Yitzchak Rabin is simply being exploited for political gains. Regrettably, the state of Israel hasn't instituted this tremendously significant day as a national day of mourning introspection.
But now that I am an adult, I can grasp complexities that eluded me in the past. I can finally fulfill my personal need for bereavement - no less for the innocence that was lost than for the individual who was murdered. It really doesn't matter what your beliefs are, the fact is that something so enormous occurred on the night of the 12th of Cheshvan, 15 years ago, that we should all stop and reflect on it - regardless of what others are doing.