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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 15, Yitzhak Rabin's Remembrance Day
On November 4th, 1995, then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated on Malchei Yisrael Square, in Tel Aviv, by Yigal Amir, an extremist right-winger who was opposed to the government’s policies. Since then, the State of Israel has observed the Memorial Day for Yitzhak Rabin, on the 12th day of the month of Cheshvan חשוון, which was the Hebrew date of the assassination.
Some commemorate the assassination according to the Gregorian date—November 4th.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
What were U.S. President Bill Clinton’s parting words, which came to symbolize the assassination and Rabin’s memory?
If you don't already know, keep listening! The answer will be revealed at the end of this lesson!
Yitzhak Rabin was a fighter in the Haganah -הגנה and the Palmach - פלמ״ח, the seventh chief of staff of the IDF, the commander of the armed forces during the Six-Day War - מלחמת ששת הימים (milhemet sheshet hayamim), and a two-term prime minister. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, after the signing of the Oslo Agreement - הסכם אוסלו (heskem Oslo), a set of controversial peace agreements that provoked fierce opposition among right-wing Israelis. An extensive public campaign was waged against the agreement, and cries of “Rabin is a traitor” and “Rabin is a murderer” were heard at many rallies.
On November 4th, 1995, a rally in support of the Oslo agreement, entitled “Yes to peace, no to violence”, was held in Tel Aviv. At the end of the rally, Yitzhak Rabin was shot by an assassin. The assassination stunned the country. Hundreds of thousands of people passed by his coffin, which was placed outside of the Knesset building - משכן הכנסת (mishkan ha’knesset) in Jerusalem. Thousands of young people congregated in the square, which was renamed Rabin Square, to mourn together, by singing songs and lighting memorial candles. A memorial was erected where the assassination took place.
Many public institutions and streets were named after Rabin, and a memorial day was instituted, which would be observed at ceremonies all over Israel. National flags are lowered to half-mast, and schools teach about Yitzhak Rabin’s life and deeds, about the importance of democracy in Israel, and about how violence endangers society and the country. Aside from this memorial day, every year, a central memorial rally at Rabin Square is held on the Saturday night closest to the date of the assassination. During the rally, intellectuals and politicians speak, and artists perform.
At the end of the rally, participants sing the song “Shir Lashalom” שיר לשלום which means “Song to Peace” in unison. The blood-stained page on which the lyrics to the song were printed was left in Rabin’s shirt pocket, and it later became one of the symbols of the event.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What were U.S. President Bill Clinton’s parting words, which became an expression that symbolized the assassination and Rabin’s memory?
In a passage that Bill Clinton transmitted after the assassination, he said the words Shalom, Chaver שלום חבר in Hebrew which mean “Goodbye, friend.” These two words expressed the sorrow that so many people felt, and it appeared in newspapers and on car stickers. It even became the name of a non-profit organization that memorialized Rabin.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting? Have you ever heard of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin?
Leave a comment letting us know at HebrewPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson!


Please to leave a comment.
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Monday at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever heard of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:42 PM
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Hi Shelley and Tim Stevenson,

Thank you for writing your comments, we hope that you found the lesson helpful.

Please let us know if you have any questions 👍



Team HebrewPod101.com

Tim Stevenson
Wednesday at 03:33 AM
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I knew one of Israels prime Ministers was assassinated but I didn't know who or why.

Wednesday at 12:32 AM
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Thank you, Roi, I am still using Google translate to confirm what I am saying, but often need to adjust the translation because I don't recognize the words or the gender isn't correct. Sometimes I think the translation is incorrect and I insert what I think is right. So I am not there yet, but keep trying.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 10:42 PM
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Hi Shelley,

Thanks for commenting.

I agree... I still remember that day and the shock...? but - your translation if perfect! ?

Well done.


Team HebrewPod101.com

Thursday at 10:54 PM
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The assasination of the life of Yitzhak Rabin was very sad. Goodbye Friend.

ההתנקשות בחייו של יצחק רבין היתה עצובה מאוד. שלום חבר