Ultra-Orthodox hold unique ceremony on Memorial Day for community’s fallen

“There is growing importance to remember the Ultra-Orthodox soldiers who gave their lives fighting for Israel,” a ceremony organizer said. 

By: World Israel News Staff

The Ultra-Orthodox community on Wednesday held a special ceremony on Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, to commemorate and honor the fallen IDF soldiers who came from their community.

Ultra-Orthodox Israelis generally abstain from IDF service and commit themselves to the study of Torah. Those who enlist occasionally face opposition, and at times even violence, from extremists within their communities who oppose any contact with the Jewish state.

This is the third year that members of the Ultra-Orthodox faction of the Likud political party have organized the ceremony at the Ponevezh Cemetery in Bnei Brak, where a number of fallen Ultra-Orthodox soldiers are buried.

In the previous two years, the ceremony was interrupted by Ultra-Orthodox extremists who heckled the attendees and attempted to prevent the ceremony from taking place.

The ceremony, which was held in cooperation with the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu, was attended by Likud Minister Ofir Akunis, the Chairman of the Likud’s Ultra-Orthodox faction Yaakov Vider, representatives of the IDF’s Military Rabbinate and Im Tirtzu activists.

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Vider remarked on the relevance and importance of the event.

“Specifically now, when there is a wave of anti-IDF incitement and violence from extremists within the Ultra-Orthodox sector, there is growing importance to remember the Ultra-Orthodox soldiers who gave their lives fighting for Israel,” he said.

Matan Peleg, CEO of the Im Tirtzu movement that has been a leading advocate for the integration of all factions of Israeli society in the IDF, said that “we salute the brave Ultra-Orthodox soldiers of the IDF and will remember together those who gave their lives fighting for the country. These soldiers represent the very essence of unity and serve as a prime example of what it means to be a scholar and a warrior.”