Yom Hazikaron - Israeli Memorial Day

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Some days, such as Yom HaShoah, are Jewish holidays that pertain to the Jewish culture, but not to the Jewish religion. Yom HaShoah, of course, is the Holocaust Memorial Day that was declared by the Knesset, which is the Israeli Parliament. Another holiday declared by the Knesset is Yom Hazikaron, which is a Memorial Day to commemorate fallen members of the Israeli military, as well as for those who lost their lives in the struggle for the formation of an Israeli state. Yom Hazikaron occurs on the day before Israeli Independence day. In this article, you will learn about the Israeli Memorial Day and how it is observed.

Yom Hazikaron is a Memorial Day, but it is much different than the United States Memorial Day, for example. The Israeli Memorial Day is a solemn occasion. In some ways, it is very similar to Yom HaShoah in that most public venues are closed on this day. This means that all kinds of theaters, stores, restaurants, and pubs are closed. Also like on Yom HaShoah, there is a siren that blows twice throughout the day. When this siren sounds, traffic stops and citizens take a few moments to remember and appreciate those who lost their lives for the state of Israel.

Yom Hazikaron is often observed in Israeli schools. There are often walls or corners that contain the photographs and names of soldiers who had graduated from the school and lost their lives in battle. Schools will often also have ceremonies in honor of fallen soldiers. The family members and friends of the fallen soldiers will often participate in the ceremonies. A popular poem that is read in Israeli memorial services is “The Silver Platter” by Nathan Alterman. This poem was written in 1948, during the Israeli War of Independence.

Most Israeli citizens do not consider Yom Hazikaron a religious holiday. This does not mean, however, that they do not take this day very seriously. On the contrary, on this day most Israelis give all their time to remembering those who gave their lives for a free Israel. All television and radio shows revolve around stories of Israeli soldiers who lost their lives. This day is an essential part of Israeli and Jewish culture. Outside of Israel, this day is normally celebrated as a part of Israeli Independence Day. Sometimes there are special services at synagogues in accordance with Yom Hazikaron.

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Posted by on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010. Filed under Yom Hazikaron. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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