Yom Hazikaron - Memorial Day
Yom Hazikaron l'Chalalei Maarachot Yisrael ul'Nifge'ei Peulot Haeivah
Hebrew:יוֹם הזִּכָּרוֹן לַחֲלָלֵי מַעֲרָכוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְנִפְגְעֵי פְּעוּלוֹת הָאֵיבָה
About Israel's Memorial Day
Yom Hazikaron - Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism falls the day before Yom Ha'atzmaut and is marked as an official day of mourning in Israel. It is a day to remember the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the country. Although it is an official working day, many public services and government offices are closed. Private companies and shops may work half a day, thus giving everyone an opportunity to visit the graves, and mourn the loss of their loved ones.
Official Memorial Day Ceremonies
In the Jewish calendar, the holidays, the Sabbath and festivals commence at sunset and continue until sunset the following evening.
This is what happens on Memorial Day; at 8pm on the eve of the 4th day of Iyar, a siren is sounded across Israel and an official ceremony commences at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Everything stops, the public stands and observes a one minute silence. Flags are lowered to half mast. Attending the ceremony are the President of Israel (incumbent Reuven Rivlin), the Mayor of Jerusalem (Nir Barkat), the IDF Chief of Staff (Gadi Eizenkot), VIP's and bereaved families. Attendance is by invitation only.
It is traditional to light a memorial flame, and members of Israeli society are honored and invited to light it. The ceremony is broadcast live on Israeli television channels.
All entertainment venues, restaurants, cinemas etc., are closed.
The next day - the 4th day of the Month of Iyar
At 11:00am a second siren is sounded across the country and at the State Ceremony at Mt. Herzl. The ceremony is attended by the Israeli Prime Minister (incumbent Benyamin Netanyahu), ministers, the mayor of Jerusalem, and the bereaved families of our fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Other memorial services take place across the country as well as age appropriate activities at schools. School alumni, currently serving in the IDF, visit their alma mater. The bereaved families visit the graves of their loved ones.
From sadness to joy! As the sun sets on the 4th of Iyar and rolls into the eve of the 5th of Iyar, Independence Day celebrations commence.
We wish the bereaved families a long and healthy life, may the memories of their loved ones forever be blessed.
Joy to all Israel on her birthday!
Independence Day events and resources