From sundown on Wednesday, May 1 to sundown on Thursday, May 2, it is Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day and we at GOD TV commemorate this day, standing in solidarity with our Jewish friends worldwide. It is known in Hebrew as Yom HaShoah and also called Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.
How moving it is to watch the State Ceremony at Yad Vashem each year where six massive torches are lit at the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, to remember the six million Jews who lost their lives. Each flame ignited by a Holocaust Survivor telling a heart-rending story of unimaginable loss, yet filled with a deep hope.
“Standing against evil is a mission given to every generation. There is no generation that is exempt.” – Benjamin Netanyahu
The ceremony is attended by the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; dignitaries; survivors; children of survivors and their families; together with the general public. It includes speeches, songs, and a rousing rendition of the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah.
Here are five ways Israel’s friends around the world can participate in Yom HaShoah:
Commemorate Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day
- Join the nation in observing two minutes of silent reflection on May 2nd. In Israel this will happen at 10 am;
- Make a post on social media in support of Israel with the hashtag #YomHaShoah;
- Pray for the State of Israel and the Jewish People;
- Stand up to anti-Semitism in your personal sphere of influence; and
- Speak out against Holocaust denial, which is all too prevalent.
Depending on where you live, you can also take part in Holocaust Remembrance events. Poland hosts the March of the Living each year, when some 12,000 participants, from all over the world, walk from Auschwitz to Birkenau. There is also a Jerusalem March of the Living.
Netanyahu on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day
Known as a brilliant orator, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes Holocaust survivors as “heroes of great spirit, who came out of the darkness of annihilation to the light of new life in the State of Israel.” Indeed, each one is a living testament to what happened seven decades ago and must never be allowed to happen again.
He says everyone has a duty to combat things that are wrong. “Standing against evil is a mission given to every generation. There is no generation that is exempt. And woe be to the generation who doesn’t stand against it,” he says. This applies to ordinary people just as much as it does to world leaders to act against tyranny.
He also emphasises the importance of Israel being stringent in defending itself against aggression. “During the Holocaust we were helpless, we were defenceless, we didn’t have anything. If the truth is told, our voice was not heard. But, today we have a powerful country and army and our voice is heard among the nations.”
As you observe two minutes of silent reflection on May 2nd consider the words of Hatikvah.
As long as in the heart within, a Jewish soul still yearns,
And onward, towards the ends of the east, an eye still gazes toward Zion;
Our hope is not yet lost, the hope two thousand years old,
To be a free nation in our land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem.