Yom Hazikaron: Israel’s Memorial Day (from MyJewishLearning.com)
The fourth of Iyar, the day preceding Israel’s Independence Day, was declared by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) to be a Memorial Day for those who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel and for all military personnel who were killed while in active duty in Israel’s armed forces. Joining these two days together conveys a simple message: Israelis owe the independence and the very existence of the Jewish state to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for it.
Yom Hazikaron, the Israeli Memorial Day, is different in its character and mood from the American Memorial Day. For 24 hours (from sunset to sunset) all places of public entertainment (theaters, cinemas, nightclubs, pubs, etc.) are closed. The most noticeable feature of the day is the sound of siren that is heard throughout the country twice, during which the entire nation observes a two-minutes “standstill” of all traffic and daily activities. The first siren marks the beginning of Memorial Day at 8:00 P.M., and the second is at 11:00 A.M., before the public recitation of prayers in the military cemeteries. All radio and television stations broadcast programs portraying the lives and heroic deeds of fallen soldiers. Most of the broadcasting time is devoted to Israeli songs that convey the mood of the day.
Lieutenant Benjamin Haneni (סגן בנימין (בני) חנני ז”ל)
Benjamin (Benny) was raised in Jerusalem, the son of Esther and Israel, who emigrated from Europe. His mother’s family all perished in the Holocaust. He devoted most of his time to the “Bnei Akiva” youth movement, hiking, and playing music. Click here to continue reading.
Private Binyamin (Beny) Frank (טוראי בנימין (בני) פרנק ז”ל)
Beny was born and raised in Kiryat Tivon. He was the chairman of the student council in his high school, the editor of the school newspaper, and participated as a member in the youth movement “Ha’Noar Ha’Oved Ve’Halomed” (the working and studying youth.) Click here to continue reading.
Sergeant Reuven Politi (סמל ראובן פוליטי ז”ל)
Reuven was born on Tishrei 25, 5715 (10/22/1954) in Jerusalem, son of Mazal and Moshe. Reuven served as a combat soldier in the “Egoz” commando unit. He died on 10/20/1973, in the restraint battle during the Yom Kippur war. Click here to continue reading.
Lieutenant Erez Shtark (סגן ארז שטרק ז”ל)
Erez loved sports and reading books. He played volleyball and basketball, and was so talented that he even made it to the national Israeli volleyball team where he represented Israel in competitions abroad. Click here to continue reading.
Sergeant First Class Moshe Ohioan (סמ”ר משה אוחיון ז”ל)
Moshe was born and raised in Afula, Israel. Growing up, Moshe was an excellent basketball player and won many awards playing sports. In late 1992 he was drafted into the IDF and stationed in the “Golani” Brigade (part of the military infantry corps). Click here to continue reading.
Captain Nachum Arieli (סרן נחום אריאלי ז”ל)
Nachum, the son of Matitau and Leah, was born in 1927 in Givat Ada. His friends say he wanted to be a veterinarian or an agronomist. Ultimately, he did not get a chance to start college in America because he was asked to extend his service in the Palmach. Click here to continue reading.
Itay Sharon (איתי שרון ז”ל)
Itay was born in Haifa, and raised in Zichron Yaakov. His father, the late Major Moti Sharon, a helicopter pilot in the Air Force, died while securing the last frontier of peace border between Israel and Egypt in 1988 when Itay was just four months old. Click here to continue reading.
Lieutenant Rami (Avraham) Zusman (ז”ל סגן רמי זוסמן)
Rami was born and raised in Hadera. Drafted to the Golani brigade in which he became a commander to fresh recruits. As the Kipurim war broke, Rami and his recruits were sent to the rear for portage and service jobs, but a after a couple of days Rami left them and rushed to the Golan Heights’ front to fight with his friends from the brigade. Click here to continue reading.
Sergeant First Class Uri Grossman (סמ״ר אורי גרוסמן ז״ל)
Uri was born in Jerusalem in the summer of 1985. Just like his name (Or- light) he brought light and love to those surrounded him. He was the son of David Grossman – an honorable Israeli author. Uri inherited his father’s gift and was known as one of the most theatrical people in his school. Click here to continue reading.
Corporal Ami (Amishalom) Kahat (רב”ט עמי (עמישלום) קהת)
Ami was the eldest son Ilana and Joshua, Holocaust survivors. His father was the children of Tehran and immigrated to Israel in 1946. Hiis mother came after the war. He was named after a lone soldier, whose grave Ami’s parents stopped at in Tzfat, on one of the memorial days. Click here to continue reading.
Sergeant First Class Oz Tsemach (סמ”ר עוז צמח ז”ל)
Oz was born in Yavneh, Israel in 1985 and later moved with his family to Re’ut (near the ciy of Modiin). Oz loved life and nature. He was fascinated with animals and liked to cook and fish. When Oz was a teenager, he was very determined to serve in a combat unit. Click here to continue reading.