Recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel’s Memorial Day, and Israeli Independence Day

Most of the commemorative days on the Jewish calendar are quite ancient. For perspective, Jewish tradition views Simhat Torah as a “recent addition.” It was created about 500 years ago! But in the context of a Holy Day calendar whose commemorative dates were set well more than three millennia ago, that qualifies as recent indeed.

In that light, the three “Yoms” that fall this time of each year – Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom Ha’atz’ma’ut – are brand spanking new, even though their dates were established by Israel’s government in late 1940’s and early 1950’s. These occasions commemorate, respectively, the Holocaust, Israelis who have perished in war and terror, and the birth of the Jewish state. In its first session, the Knesset set it up so the latter two would always fall on back-to-back dates in the first week of Iyar, the time of year when Israel declared statehood in 1948. A few years later, the body established Holocaust remembrance day – the full Hebrew term translating “Holocaust and Heroism Day” — on the annual date corresponding to the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943.

If you missed yesterday’s moving and informative community Yom HaShoah program at the Jewish Community Campus, you’ll have to wait a full year for your next opportunity. But if you’re interested in partaking of our community’s programming for Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atz’ma’ut, mark your calendars for next Monday evening and Tuesday late afternoon. View the event calendar for more information.

I hope you’ll join me at both events, especially the Monday evening event, during which I’ll be performing an original song suitable for the event.