Thursday, 16 April 2015

Yom Hashoah, Thursday the 16th of April 2015

Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה; "Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its accessories, and for the Jewish resistance in that period.

Yom Hashoah is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May), unless the 27th would be adjacent to Shabbat, in which case the date is shifted by a day.

In Israel, it is a national memorial day. It was inaugurated in 1953, anchored by a law signed by the Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion and the President of Israel Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. 

Since the early 1960's, the sound of a siren on Yom Hashoah stops traffic and pedestrians throughout the State of Israel for two minutes of silent devotion. The siren blows at sundown and once again at 11:00 A.M on this date. All radio and television programs during this day are connected in one way or another with the Jewish destiny in World War II, including personal interviews with survivors. Even the musical programs are adapted to the atmosphere of Yom Hashoah. There is no public entertainment on Yom Hashoah, as theaters, cinemas, pubs, and other public venues are closed throughout Israel.

Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle 
JewishCare’s Aged Case Work Team held a Yom Hashoah ceremony this morning which was attended by over 25 members of the community.
Yom Hashoah ceremony
Rabbi Gourarie shared some stories of the courage of Survivors to be able to rebuild their lives after the horrors of the war, and that this is an amazing example of strength for the younger generation. Even though some questions have no answers, as long as we remember, as long as the world remembers, there is a chance.

It was an emotional service. All attendees were invited to light a candle and say a prayer in remembrance of who they had lost. Stillness and the smell of lit candles filled the room, with a silent “Never Again” echoing through everyone’s mind. During a light lunch people had the opportunity to share stories and memories.

"We know that whilst we do not have the ability to change the past, we can change the future. We know that whilst we cannot bring the dead back to life, we can ensure their memories live on and that their deaths were not in vain. And so, on this Yom HaShoah, we commit ourselves to one simple act: Yizkor, Remember." Chief Rabbi Sacks.

(Read his full prayer-

JewishCare is in a unique position to be able to offer special services to Holocaust survivors. For information regarding our services for Holocaust survivors please email or call 1300 133 660. 

For more information, resources, and links about the Holocaust: Yad Vashem - World Center for Holocaust Research

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