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Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, is observed annually in Israel and by Jewish communities around the world. It falls on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, which usually corresponds to April or May in the Gregorian calendar. In 2024, Yom HaShoah begins in the evening of April 30th and ends in the evening of May 1st.

Purpose:

Yom HaShoah is a solemn day of remembrance dedicated to honoring the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, as well as the millions of other victims of Nazi persecution, including Roma, disabled individuals, LGBTQ+ individuals, political dissidents, and others. It serves as an opportunity to reflect on the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and to pay tribute to the memory of those who were killed.

Observance:

On Yom HaShoah, ceremonies and commemorative events are held in Israel and Jewish communities worldwide to remember the victims of the Holocaust. These may include memorial services, candle-lighting ceremonies, moments of silence, educational programs, and artistic performances. Survivors may share their testimonies, and prayers and readings may be recited in memory of the victims.

Yellow Candle Tradition:

One tradition associated with Yom HaShoah is the lighting of yellow memorial candles. These candles are often distributed to Jewish households, and each candle is lit in memory of a specific victim of the Holocaust. The practice of lighting yellow candles serves as a powerful symbol of remembrance and ensures that the memory of the Holocaust victims continues to be honored.

Educational Initiatives:

Yom HaShoah also serves as an opportunity to educate future generations about the Holocaust and its lessons. Schools, universities, museums, and community organizations may organize educational programs, lectures, and exhibitions to teach about the history of the Holocaust, promote tolerance and understanding, and combat anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.

Reflection and Action:

While Yom HaShoah is a day of remembrance, it also calls upon individuals and communities to reflect on the lessons of the Holocaust and to take action against hatred, prejudice, and genocide in all its forms. By remembering the past and committing to the values of justice, tolerance, and human dignity, we honor the memory of the Holocaust victims and strive to build a more just and compassionate world.

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