20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Community unites to honour Israel's fallen heros Print E-mail

Yom Hazikaron or Memorial Day is officially named Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day. It is a national holiday in Israel held on typically on 4 Iyar, the day preceeding Yom HaAtzmaut. This year, it was scheduled for 2 Iyar, corresponding to 7 May, as an adjustment for the observance of Shabbat was made.

Yom Hazikaron honours the veterans of the Israeli military that have died in service of the nation as well as those who fought for Israeli prior to its establishment of independent statehood. Additionally, and perhaps unique to Israel, this date also marks the remembrance of civilian victims of terror attacks.

Daniella Yakuel

In Israel, the evening before, at 8pm a one-minute siren is sounded and Israelis stand in silence. A two-minute siren is sounded the following morning, and public ceremonies are held as well as private memorial events. That evening an official ceremony on Mount Herzl returns the flag to full mast and Independence Day begins.

Mesuly Silk reading a story
Consul General Dan Ben-Eliezer

The transition from solemn memorial for those who died in the fight for Israel’s independence and security to the joyful celebration of Israel’s Independence is a powerful symbol and reminder of the depth of sacrifice people have made for the Jewish state Hong Kong’s Jewish community, representing the largest Israeli community in the Far East, held its Yom Hazikaron ceremony on Tuesday 6 May at the Jewish Community centre.

Over 350 attendees filled the Garden Room, the largest single gathering of community members for this type of event. Likewise, the attendees spanned the generations, with a large number of young children in attendance, and also drew participation from diverse sectors of the community.

In a one hour solemn progamme, a selection of stories, poems, musical performances, readings and memorial film clips were presented. The lighting of the memorial candle was performed by Ms Daniella Yakuel, who gave an extraordinary address that touched the hearts of the attendees.

Yitzkor was recited by Mr. Ishay Haramaty the Far East representative of the KH-UIA and Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon, Director of Chabad Asia, recited El Maleh Rachamim for the fallen soldiers in Israel’s wars.

Eddie Epstein, Head of Carmel School, recited Psalm 83 and Kaddish was recited by Rabbi Martin van den Bergh of Ohel Leah Synagogue. Carmel School students were also selected to read passages.

Consul General Dan Ben- Eliezer gave an emotional address in Hebrew and English.

The moving event allowed community members to mark this important day for Israel and altough many miles away from Israel, they were brought back home in their hearts.

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