Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah
- Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day
Shoah is the Hebrew word for "whirlwind" and also destruction. It is the term used to described the conflagration that swept up six million Jewish souls between 1938 and 1945.
In Israel at sundown a state ceremony is held at Yad Vashem, lighting memorial candles and reciting the Kaddish.
At 10:00 o'clock sirens are sounded throughout Israel for two minutes. During morning, people cease from any action and stand at attention; cars stop, even on the highways; and the whole country comes to a standstill as people pay silent tribute to the dead.
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, in 1949, decided that the Tenth of Tevet (in January) should be the national remembrance day for victims of the Holocaust, because Jewish law forbids fasting and mourning during the month of Nisan (March/April). Therefore in Haredi (Religious Orthodox) areas, no attention is given to Yom HaShoah. Ismar Schorsch, the chancellor of the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary, has also suggested moving Holocaust commemorations to Tisha b'Av, because that is the day in which Judaism ritualizes its most horrible destructions.
The Knesset holds the Unto Every Person There is a Name ceremony in the Chagall State Hall. Names of Holocaust victims are read aloud during the ceremony. Six million Jews, among them one-and-a-half million children, were murdered during the Shoah while the world remained silent. This is a unique project designed to perpetuate the victims memory as individuals and restore their identity and dignity.
Unto Every Person There is a Name (Zelda 1914 – 1984)
Unto every person there is a name Bestowed upon him by God And given him by his father and mother
Unto every person there is a name Accorded him by his stature And the manner of his smile And given him by his style of dress
Unto every person there is a name Conferred on him by the mountains And given him by his neighbors
Unto every person there is a name Assigned him by his sins And given him by his yearnings
Unto every person there is a name Given him by his enemies And given him by his love
Unto every person there is a name Derived from his festivals And given him by his labor
Unto every person there is a name Presented him by the seasons And given him by his blindness
Unto every person there is a name Bestowed on him by the sea And given him by his death.
A letter from the Child Liliane, in Yad va Shem Archives