Repost: Dispatches from an American in Israel: Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
Tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., a siren will sound throughout the entire country of Israel. Pedestrians will stop in their tracks. Traffic will come to a standstill. Everyone will stand, young and old, religious and secular, feet planted firmly, head bowed in somber and rapt attention.

A nation of nearly 6 million Jews will remember and honor the 6 million who were murdered in the Holocaust.

Yom HaShoah v’HaGvurah, which literally means the Day (of Remembrance) for the Holocaust and for Heroism, began tonight, on the 27th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, just one week after the conclusion of Passover. The holiday will conclude tomorrow evening. The date, chosen by the Israeli parliament in 1951, also marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

In addition to that haunting siren, Yom HaShoah will also be marked tomorrow at school-wide assemblies across the nation. Remembrance is even an integral part of the TV schedule: For 25 hours, beginning tonight and concluding early tomorrow evening, cable and public stations run only programming that is connected to the Holocaust and World War II. A number of tonight’s talk shows featured interviews with survivors who are now in their late 80s. Most restaurants have also shut their doors, at least for tonight, some even closed as early as 4 p.m. Movie theatres are also closed tonight.

Yom HaShoah is the first of three national (non-religious) holidays in Israel, which fall during the seven-week period between the end of the Passover and the start of Shavuot. Next Tuesday night, April 28, is the intensely somber Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron). The following day, the country will transition from a week of national mourning to a day of total jubilation: Israel’s 61st Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut).

Visit our “Don’t Let the Light Go Out” – A Multimedia Remembrance In Honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom Ha’Shoah

(Updated and reposted)

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