Yom HaZikaron: Israel’s Memorial Day

By Julie Stahl

“The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die” (Psalm 116:15).

A week after Yom HaShoah (“Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day”), Israelis mark Yom HaZikaron (“Israel’s Memorial Day”) to honor and remember those who died fighting for their country and those murdered in terror attacks.

A televised state ceremony is held at the Western Wall and neighborhoods throughout the country hold their own ceremonies in public places, with the participation of the youth. 

Israelis stand in the streets for an hour or more as the people who died from those neighborhoods are honored.

Since Israel is frequently under attack—whether by rockets or terror attacks or infiltrations—the day is very real and relevant for most Israelis. Many visit cemeteries and attend other ceremonies on the day. Schools are in session but have special programs to honor the fallen.

Twice, on the evening before Israel’s Memorial Day and the following morning itself, Israelis collectively stand in silence as a siren sounds calling to mind the sacrifices that were made by family and friends for Israel’s freedom and security. 

“I was thinking about all the soldiers from the beginning of the modern State of Israel up until today who had to fight on the frontlines and on the home front,” said Shai Yosipov, a former IDF combat medic.

“It’s so important that everyone understands the price and the responsibility we have for living in this country. We not only remember our fallen loved ones, but we also acknowledge that there has always been a sacrifice that needed to be made so that we could be here today,” says Yosipov.

“During the siren, I was praying for families who’ve lost so many, and I prayed that God would give them comfort from the pain,” says Sarah Rivka Yekutiel, who moved to Israel from Boston many years ago.

“It’s an emotional time for everyone, whether you’ve lost family or not. This day is very heavy and intense,” said Orital Saban, who recently moved to Israel from Canada.

More than 23,000 Israeli and Jewish soldiers and more than 3,100 terror victims have fallen since 1860. 

At sundown on Israel’s Memorial Day, Israelis make an incredible leap from mourning those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, to celebrating Yom HaAtzma’ut (“Israel’s Independence Day”).

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel full-time for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN—first as a graduate student in Journalism at Regent University; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. She is also an integral part of CBN News’ award-winning show, Jerusalem Dateline, a weekly news program providing a biblical and prophetic perspective to what is happening in Israel and the Middle East.


  1. REPLY
    Vito Via says

    I hunger for knowledge concerning ISRAEL 🇮🇱 and look forward to learning more about GODS’ CHOSEN PEOPLE ,their history and prophesies ,which concerns everyone ,everything and everywhere . PRAISE CREATOR FATHER GOD JEHOVAH TSID —KENU, THE GREAT ” I AM ! “

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    William (Bill) Grant says

    As a Americal combat veteran I have great respect and prayer for those in the IDF and the people of Israel as they fact constant assault from those who hate them. I am a follower of Yeshua with a deep love of Israel and the Jewish people. My our LORD uphold His covenant faithfulness to comfort, protect, preserve, and prosper His chosen people.

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      Dorothy Welch says

      As a Christian I feel for all of God’s people who have lost their lives for a great cause. My love and prayers go out to all of those who have suffered and are still feeling the effects of this horrible time in. Their lives. May GOD continue to bless each and everyone.

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      joanne tucker says

      AMEN!! and thank you for your service as well!!

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    Duane Hogge says

    My deepest prayers go up for Israel and her fallen. 🇮🇱I pray for the lost more, for their salvation. I pray for the country as a whole because they are God’s chosen. Let it be known I would fight with and for them as much as I would the United States 🇺🇸 . My heart goes out to you because as an American I can not began to imagine your pain. It comes from satin and the world. I love you children of God and Israel. Iwill continue to fight with and for you, weather, it be in the physical, or on my knees. 🤟🫶

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    Mariana Heymans says

    I will keep on oraying for the Peace of Jerusalem and the Peace of Israel.
    God please place watchmen on the walls and legions of Angels around Israel.

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    Shirley Mize says

    I am so grateful for the Tanach (Old Testament) being protected over the centuries by the Jewish people. Reading the Bible kept me focused during many years of confinement abuse as I turned to God. It was a fight to become hopeful. Reading the life events of King David, Joseph, Nehemiah, and the Psalms gave me strength to endure. God has intervened through many safe relationships to remove me from the abusers Forgiveness and reconciliation came about.

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