Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Tribute to the Israel Defense Forces on Yom Hazikaron


This evening marks the start of the most solemn day of the year in Israel - Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Memorial Day, the day that all Israel remembers the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces who fell in its wars in defense of the country. This day is different in its character and mood from the American Memorial Day. For 24 hours (from sunset to sunset) all places of public entertainment (theaters, cinemas, nightclubs, pubs, etc.) are closed. 

The most noticeable feature of the day is the sound of the siren that is heard throughout the country twice, during which the entire nation observes a two-minutes "standstill" of all traffic and daily activities. The first siren marks the beginning of Memorial Day at 8:00 P.M., and the second is at 11:00 A.M., before the public recitation of prayers in the military cemeteries. All radio and television stations broadcast programs portraying the lives and heroic deeds of fallen soldiers. Most of the broadcasting time is devoted to Israeli songs that convey the mood of the day.

Today we're participating in the spirit of Yom Hazikaron with a video tribute to the soldiers of the IDF. Tomorrow our mood will change to one of rejoicing as we join with the people of Israel and Jews around the world in celebrating Israel's 65th Independence Day.

Here is the prayer said every Shabbat in most synagogues around the world for the welfare of the IDF soldiers:
 

Prayer for the Welfare of Soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces

May He who blessed our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces who keep guard over our country and cities of our Lord from the border with Lebanon to the Egyptian desert and from the Mediterranean Sea to the approach to the Arava, be they on land, air or sea. May the Almighty deliver us our enemies who arise against us, may the Holy One, blessed be He, preserve them and save them from all sorrow and peril, from danger and ill. May He send blessing and success in all their endeavors, may He deliver to them those who hate us and crown them with salvation and victory, so that the saying may be fulfilled through them, “For the Lord, your God, who walks with you and to fight your enemies for you and to save you”, and let us say, Amen. 

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)