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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Israel Series at HebrewPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Israeli holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 14, Fallen Soldiers Remembrance Day
The Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorist Acts - יום הזכרון לחללי מערכות ישראל ונפגעי פעולות האיבה, or Memorial Day for short, is meant to commemorate soldiers who fell in the line of duty during Israel’s wars, and the victims of terrorist attacks. It occurs one day before the Day of Independence on the Hebrew calendar date of the 4th of Iyar- אייר. It reminds us of the price the country needed to pay for its existence.
Memorial Day is a national day of mourning in Israel.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Which flower is associated with the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel’s Wars, and where does it appear?
If you don't already know, keep listening! The answer will be revealed at the end of this lesson!
Memorial Day events begin the previous evening. At eight o'clock in the evening, a one-minute siren is sounded throughout Israel, immediately followed by the main event, held at the Western Wall - הכותל המערבי (ha’kotel hama’aravi), whose participants include the president of the State of Israel, the Chief of Staff of the IDF, and bereaved family members. Next, ceremonies are held throughout the country. Many towns conduct an evening of fighter songs, the largest of which is Sharim Bakikar, which is held in Rabin Square, in Tel Aviv.
During the daytime, at 11 o'clock, a two-minute siren is sounded, marking the beginning of memorial services around the country. The main ceremony is held at the military cemetery in Mount Herzl. A special Yizkor prayer - תפילת יזכור (t’filat izkor) for the IDF’s fallen soldiers is customarily recited at military ceremonies, and occasionally, ceremonies are concluded with a three-volley salute. Other memorial services are held at educational facilities, IDF bases, and public institutions. During these ceremonies, excerpts of poetry and prose are traditionally recited, and songs are sung in memory of the fallen.
On Memorial Day, shopping centers, restaurants, coffee shops, and cinemas close. The media broadcasts movies and publishes articles about fallen soldiers and coping with bereavement, and one television channel broadcasts the names of all of the fallen soldiers, along with the dates they were killed, throughout the day. Large crowds attend memorial ceremonies in various towns, and many light memorial candles - נרות זכרון (nerot zikaron) in their homes.
The Memorial Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars was signed into law in 1963. In 1998, the Israeli government decided to add the commemoration of victims of terrorist acts, and since then, this day has been called the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorist Acts.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Which flower is associated with Memorial Day, and how is it displayed?
The flower that symbolizes Memorial Day is the red everlasting - דם המכבים (dam ha’macabbim), which, according to legend, grows anywhere a drop of Maccabi blood—the blood of the heroes of the Hasmonean Revolt—was spilled. Stickers with a picture of the flower are distributed at memorial ceremonies, and are worn on the lapel.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting? Is there a memorial day for fallen soldiers in your country?
Leave a comment letting us know at HebrewPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson!


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Monday at 06:30 PM
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Is there a memorial day for fallen soldiers in your country?

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 10:44 PM
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Hi Shelley,

Thanks for your comment.

Please note one small thing - for initials in Hebrew we use " - not two "י" as in your sentence...

+ יום הולדת - not חולדת. :)



Team Hebrewpod101.com

Tuesday at 10:32 PM
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Yes, Memorial Day falls every year on my father's birthday. He and my mother are buried in a Veterans Cemetary. כן, יום הזיכרון נופל בכל שנה ביום החולדת של אבי, זייל . הוא ואמי, זייל, נקברו בבית קברות ותיקי