Yom HaShoah, Remembering the Holocaust

May 4, 2016 Wednesday (sundown) through Thursday (sundown) is a solemn day for Jews, known as “Yom HaShoah” or “Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.” The full name of the remembrance day is Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah ( יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה), which translated into English, means, “Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.”

The day is more commonly known as Yom HaShoah (יום השואה), a worldwide day of remembrance for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its allies, and for the Jewish resistance during that period.

This year’s commemoration is particularly relevant as only seven decades after Hitler was defeated, Antisemitism and Holocaust denial is growing at an accelerated rate throughout the world.

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In Israel Yom HaShoah is a national memorial day. It was inaugurated in 1953, anchored by a law signed by the the first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion and the Israeli President at the time, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. It is held on the 27th of Hebrew month of Nisan (April/May). What started out a commemoration recognized only in Israel, is now a day of remembrance throughout the  world.

Jews light a memorial candle on Yom HaShoah as a recognition that the souls of the victims are still alive in our hearts and that many entire families were murdered meaning there are none left to mourn for them. We light a memorial candle on Yom HaShoah to remember never to forget.

Much of modern Antisemitism is different from the traditional Jew-hatred, it is disguised as anti-Zionism, and claimed to be simply criticism of Israel. The truth is that it is a very nasty form of Antisemitism. Muslim terrorist groups are targeting Jews for no other reason than their faith.

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