Yom Hazikaron

Yom Hazikaron Quick Facts - IL

AKA NameYom Hazikaron l'Chalalei Ma'arachot Yisrael ul'Nifge'ei Pe'ulot Ha'eivah, Israel's Memorial Day, Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism
HashtagsCompiled on#YomHazikaron
Related Hashtags#Israel
2024 Date12 May 2024

Yom HaZikaron Starts (Israel)

Yom HaZikaron Starts (Israel) in
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Yom Hazikaron (Starts) History

Yom HaZikaron is Israel's official remembrance day, solemnly commemorating the fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Drawing from Jewish tradition, it is aimed at honoring each individual life lost while defending the country or suffering terrorist attacks, rather than highlighting the large-scale tragedies. It serves as an opportunity for personal reflection, respect, and remembrance among Israelis and the Jewish community worldwide, allowing a moment of unity in the shared memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

While Yom HaZikaron was initially established to honor the memory of soldiers who fell in the 1948 War of Independence, it has since expanded to include all military personnel and innocent civilians struck down by acts of terror. The Observance gained its legal status in 1963 with the passing of the Remembrance Day Law. For the Israeli community, this day is deeply personal; almost everyone knows someone or is connected to someone who has been lost. Hence, it holds significant importance in shaping Israel's national memory and identity.

Yom HaZikaron is marked by a series of somber ceremonies and rituals, many of which take place in military cemeteries throughout Israel. A nationwide siren is sounded in the evening signaling the beginning of Yom HaZikaron, and again the following morning, whereupon the entire country comes to a standstill in silent tribute. Public entertainment venues are closed, and radio and TV programming focus on stories and songs of remembrance. This day of collective mourning is observed annually, beginning at sunset on the 4th of Iyar and ending the following evening, according to the Jewish calendar. Following Yom HaZikaron, the mood dramatically shifts as Israel transitions into the celebration of its independence - Yom HaAtzma'ut.

Facts about Yom HaZikaron

  • The theme for Yom HaZikaron in 2022 was These Are Our Stories.
  • Flags are flown at half-mast, places of entertainment are closed, and radio and television programming are dedicated solely to documentaries, stories of heroic battles and lives lost in war or terrorist attacks.
  • Interestingly, it was in 1963 that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel ruled that Yom HaZikaron should be observed on the fourth day of the month of Iyar, the day before Israel's Independence Day.
  • Yom HaZikaron is followed, without a break, by Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. This sharp transition from mourning to celebration illustrates the country's determination to cherish its hard-won independence and the sacrifices made to achieve and maintain it.

Top things to do in Israel for Yom HaZikaron

  • Wear a special Yizkor sticker if you have lost a loved one. These stickers are meant to honor and remember those soldiers killed in war.
  • Visit the Mount Herzl National Cemetery: It is the largest and official military ceremony in Israel. It is the burial place of several prominent Israeli figures, including the former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his wife Leah.
  • Listen in to the Nationwide Siren: At 8:00 pm, a one-minute siren is sounded throughout the country. Normal activities come to a halt as everyone takes a moment of silence to remember fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism.

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