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Yom ha-Zikkaron


YOM HA-ZIKKARON (Heb. יוֹם הַזִּכָּרוֹן; "Remembrance Day"), memorial day observed for those who fell on active service in the Israel War of Independence and subsequently. It is observed on Iyyar 4th (the day before *Independence Day) in solemn civil, military, and religious ceremonies throughout Israel. It begins at sunset and concludes with a siren blast as the stars appear the next day to usher in Independence Day. Memorial candles are lit in army camps, schools, synagogues, and public places, and flags are flown at half-mast. Throughout the day ex-servicemen and soldiers serve as guards of honor at war memorials in all towns and villages, and the families of the fallen participate in memorial ceremonies at military cemeteries. By law, all places of entertainment are closed on the eve of Yom ha-Zikarron, and broadcasting and educational bodies are required to stress the solemnity of the day. During the morning a siren marks a two-minute silence, which brings all activity to a standstill. The Israel rabbinate has prescribed special prayers for the previous Sabbath and for Yom ha-Zikkaron. They include the recital of Psalms 9: "For the leader, on the death of the son," and 144: "Blessed be the Lord, My Rock, who traineth my hands for war and my fingers for battle."


Laws of the State of Israel, 17 (1962–63), 85; see also bibl. for Independence Day.

[Aryeh Newman]

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