Israel came to a standstill when a commemorative siren marked the nation’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.
At 10 a.m. on Thursday morning, a siren marking Yom HaShoah, the national Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, was sounded for two minutes throughout the land of Israel, bringing the streets to a complete standstill.
Ceremonies were held across the country and places of entertainment were closed.
In the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, the names of those murdered during the Holocaust were read aloud during the ”Unto Every Person There is a Name” ceremony, for the 29th consecutive year.
Prior to the reading of the names, Holocaust survivors lit six candles atop the Knesset Menorah symbolizing the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
Chief Rabbi David Lau read verses from Psalms, the Rishon LeZion, Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef recited Kaddish, and Deputy Chief IDF Cantor Daniel Kol-Tov recited the ”El Male Rachamim” prayer for the souls of the dead.
Netanyahu to Iran: Don’t Test Our Resolve
Speaking at the official opening ceremony on Wednesday evening at Warsaw Ghetto Square, at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran not to test Israel’s resolve, declaring that the Jewish state would respond to Tehran’s “aggression” with “steadfastness.”
Netanyahu said that “the events in recent days teach us that standing up to evil and aggression is the mission imposed on every generation.”
“In the Holocaust we were helpless, defenseless and voiceless,” the Israeli premier said. “In truth, our voice was not heard at all. Today we have a strong country, a strong army, and our voice is heard among the nations.”
Referring to Iranian threats against Israel, Netanyahu said simply “don’t test the resolve of the State of Israel.”
Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day is scheduled around the date of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis, which began some 13 days earlier in the Hebrew calendar. The commemoration is postponed because the uprising began on the eve of the Passover holiday, making a memorial on the exact date out of place.