Holocaust Remembrance Day 2018: Focusing on 70 years of ‘Remembering and Building’

Israelis come to a standstill when a commemorative siren marks the nation’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.

By: World Israel News Staff

At 10 a.m. on Thursday morning, April 12th, a siren will sound for two minutes throughout the land of Israel, bringing the usually bustling streets to a complete standstill and marking Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Ceremonies will be held across the country and places of entertainment will be closed.

The central theme for this year’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day is “70 Years of Remembering and Building: Holocaust Survivors and the State of Israel.”

According to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, this year’s theme highlights the invaluable contribution of Holocaust survivors to Israel’s success. “Holocaust survivors became an inseparable part of Israeli society, with their legacy evident in numerous fields: land reclamation and settlement, industry, science, economics, law, academia and culture. From their ranks emerged painters and graphic designers, poets and authors, athletes and stage performers, scientists and intellectuals. These survivors struggled to restore themselves by committing to living lives of productive labor and creative endeavor.”

The official opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday evening, in Warsaw Ghetto Square, at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

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Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver remarks at the opening ceremony. Yad Vashem Council Chairman Rabbi Israel Meir Lau will kindle the Memorial Torch. Zipora Nahir, herself a survivor, will speak on behalf of the survivors. IDF Paratroopers’ Honor Guard will participate in the ceremony.

During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors Mirjam Lapid, Shmuel Bogler, Dr. Thea Friedman, Raul Teitelbaum, Yisaschar Dov Goldstein, and Abba Naor have each been given the honor of lighting a memorial torch.

The ceremony will feature a traditional memorial service, including the recitation of a chapter from Psalms by Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau. The Rishon LeZion, Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, will recite the Kaddish mourner’s prayer, and Cantor Zvi Weiss will recite the “El Maleh Rahamim,” the Jewish prayer for the souls of the dead.