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Days to remember and to celebrate

Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day, begins at sundown on Sunday, April 27. How the date to commemorate the murder of six million Jews was chosen was a fraught and difficult process, one that Rabbi Irving Greenberg detailed in his book, “The Jewish Way: Living the Holidays” and excerpted here at

In Israel, a siren blares for two minutes at 10 a.m. Watch what happens on this Tel Aviv highway. You have to get to the 52-second mark to witness something remarkable.

Yom Hashoah is the first of three recent additions to the Jewish calendar (and by that we mean since World War II). On Monday, May 5 (the fifth of Iyar) we mark Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s day to commemorate fallen soldiers and victims of terror []. Like traditional Jewish holidays and days of mourning, it begins at sundown the evening prior. It too is marked by a siren and silence in Israel.

As soon as the sun sets, however, the country segues into joyous celebration to mark Yom Haatzmaut, celebrating Israel’s signing of its declaration of independence in 1948.

Yom Haatzmaut is celebrated widely among Jews outside of Israel. Check your local JCC or Jewish federation to find out what your community is doing.

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