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Israel InformationYom Hazikaron Memorial Day

Yom Hazikaron Memorial Day

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Last Updated on October 25, 2021

Program for Yom Hazikaron 2021 – Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism.

   יוֹם הזִּכָּרוֹן לַחֲלָלֵי מַעֲרָכוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְנִפְגְעֵי פְּעוּלוֹת הָאֵיבָה

Yom Hazikaron l’Chalalei Maarachot Yisrael ul’Nifge’ei Peulot Haeivah

memorial day wiki
Image credit: WikiCommons – IDF soldiers participate in a memorial ceremony on the Israeli national Memorial Day, in honor of fallen soldiers and the victims of terror attacks. Each soldier stands before the grave of a fallen serviceman.

Since independence: 23,928 fallen soldiers
Since independence: 3,158 victims of terror


What is Yom Hazikaron?

Yom Hazikaron is a special memorial day, in Israel, for fallen soldiers of Israel and victims of terror. It falls the day before Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) and is marked as an official day of mourning in Israel.  It is a day to remember the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the country. Although it is an official working day, many public services and government offices are closed.  Private companies and shops may work half a day, thus giving everyone an opportunity to visit the graves, and mourn the loss of their loved ones. 

Yom HaZikaron 2021 in Israel commences on the evening of Tuesday, 13th April, 2020 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, 14th April, 2021.  As we come out of the Coronavirus, unlike 2020, it has been announced that  military cemeteries will be open and entrance to the public will be allowed.  Families will be able to visit the graves of their loved ones and other memorial sites up until 4pm on Wednesday 14th, April at which time cemeteries and memorial sites will be closed to the public until after Yom HaAtzmaut

Tuesday Schedule

16:30 Opening ceremony at Beit Yad Lebanim in Jerusalem

20:00 on Tuesday night, Memorial Day will officially commence with the sounding of a one minute, countrywide siren.

20:01 Memorial Day Ceremony from the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The ceremony is televised.

21:00 “Songs in their Memory” from the Knesset grounds

Wednesday Schedule

08:30 Reading the names of the fallen

11:00 countrywide siren and the observance of a two minute silence

11:02  Memorial candle lighting at military cemeteries across the country, at schools as well as the State Memorial Service at Mt. Herzl for fallen soldiers.

13:00 State Memorial Service for the victims of terror at Mt. Herzl 

Official Memorial Day Ceremonies

In the Jewish calendar, the holidays; Sabbath, festivals commence at sunset and continue until sunset the following evening and likewise on Memorial Day.

At 8pm on the eve of the 4th day of Iyar, a siren is sounded across Israel and the official memorial ceremony takes place at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  As the siren is sounded, the public stands and observes a one minute silence. Flags are lowered to half mast. Attending the ceremony; the President of Israel, the Mayor of Jerusalem, the IDF Chief of Staff, VIP’s and bereaved families.  Attendance is by invitation only.

It is traditional to light a memorial flame, and members of Israeli society are honored and invited to light the flame. The ceremony is broadcast live on Israeli television channels.

All entertainment venues; restaurants, cinemas, pubs etc., are closed.

The next day – the 4th day of the Month of Iyar

At 11:00am the following day, a second siren is sounded across the country. The official state ceremony takes place at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.  The ceremony is attended by the Prime Minister of Israel, other cabinet ministers, the mayor of Jerusalem, and the bereaved families of our fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Many memorial services take place across the country as well as age appropriate activities at schools. School alumni, currently serving in the IDF, visit their alma mater.  The bereaved families visit the graves of their loved ones. 

From sadness to joy! As the sun sets on the 4th of Iyar and rolls into the eve of the 5th of Iyar, Independence Day celebrations commence.

We wish the bereaved families a long and healthy life, may the memories of their loved ones forever be blessed.

Joy to all Israel on her birthday!

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