Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

By Julie Stahl

Israel is commemorating its national Holocaust Remembrance Day against the backdrop of the October 7th massacre. Although the scale was much smaller, it brought many back to the murder of Jews during the Holocaust and many Israelis felt the spirit was the same.

It’s more important than ever that we all remember the Holocaust. We must remember how the viral poison of anti-Semitism in Germany and throughout Europe led to the genocide of 6 million Jewish men, women, and children.

Yisrael Meir Lau, a former Israeli Chief Rabbi, is a Holocaust survivor who was born in Poland. He described anti-Semitism like this: “Anti-Semitism you can explain, but you cannot find a reason for it. It’s against dialogue. It’s against logic. It’s a spiritual madness.”

In 1959, Israel set the 27th of the Jewish month of Nisan, about a week after the end of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as Yom HaShoah or Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve laG’vrurah (“Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day”).

That day marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, when the Jews in the ghetto in German-occupied Poland resisted the Nazis’ attempt to transport the remaining population there to concentration camps.

Each year, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem opens the events with a large ceremony addressed by both the President and Prime Minister. Six Holocaust survivors, often accompanied by a family member, light six giant torches in honor of the 6 million murdered by the Nazi death machine.

The following day, air raid sirens blare, and the nation comes to a standstill to honor the memory of those who perished at the hands of the Nazis.

The name Yad Vashem is taken from a passage in Isaiah, where God declares, “I will give them, in My house and within My walls, a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters. I will give each of them an everlasting name that will never be cut off” (Isaiah 56:5 HCSB).

In 2005, the United Nations established International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. This day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the largest concentration camp—Auschwitz-Birkenau—where it is estimated that more than 1 million people died, most of them Jews.

This Yom HaShoah, please continue to pray for Israel and her people in the aftermath of October 7th, the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.

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.

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