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NEW HOLIDAYS

 

A few minor holidays have been added to the Jewish calendar to commemorate various significant events of the 20th century relating to the Holocaust and the modern state of Eretz Yisroel (Israel). All of these holidays occur in the period between Pesach / Passover and Shavuot.

These holidays, still too new for any consensus to have developed in the Jewish community, are not universally acknowledged. The dates are not entirely agreed upon, and the observances and appropriate liturgy are not yet standardized. Many Jews observe them (and create new liturgies for them). Some do not. Some celebrate the Israel-related days, but don't assign them religious significance, and others ignore all three.

Nevertheless, they are worth noting.


Yom HaShoah
Holocaust Memorial Day
27 Nisan
Monday, April 24, 2017*
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah is observed on the 27th of Nisan, a few days after Pesach. "Shoah" is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust. This memorial day was instituted by Israel's Knesset in 1951 to mourn the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust.


[The date was set as the closest date to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising immediately after Pesach / Passover and before Israel Independence Day.]
Some prefer to commemorate 'Churban (destruction of) Europa' on Tisha B'Av along with the other catastrophes which have befallen the Jewish people.

* When the 27th is adjacent to Shabbat, the date is shifted by a day.

Yom HaZikaron
Israel Defense Forces Memorial Day
4 Iyar*

Monday, May 1, 2017
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Israeli Martyr and Heroes' Memorial Day, observed on the 4th of Iyar, remembers those fallen Israeli soldiers who sacrificed themselves for Eretz Yisroel's survival during Israel's many wars and the victims of terrorism.
*(If the fourth of Iyar falls on a Friday, Memorial day is commemorated on the second of Iyar of that year; if it falls on a Thursday, Memorial Day is commemorated on the third of Iyar of that year).

Yom HaAtzmaut
Israel Independence Day
5 Iyar*
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Following Yom HaZikaron, a deep day of mourning, is Israeli Independence Day, marking the establishment of the modern state of Eretz Yisroel. It is observed on the 5th of Iyar, corresponding to May 14, 1948, the day Eretz Yisroel was declared an independent state.
 
Yom HaAtzmaut was declared a religious holiday by Israel's Chief Rabbis, who formulated a special order of prayer for the evening and morning services, now incorporated in many Israeli and diaspora prayer books. According to some views, the restrictions of the Omer period are lifted for this day. A few anti-Zionist Jews observe this day as a day of mourning for the sin of proclaiming the state of Eretz Yisroel without the Messiah.
*(If the fifth day of Iyar falls on the Sabbath, Independence Day is celebrated on the third day of Iyar of that year. If the fifth of Iyar falls on a Friday, Independence Day is celebrated on the fourth day of Iyar of that year.)

Yom Yerushalayim
Jerusalem Reunification Day
28 Iyar
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Sunday, June 2, 2019

The 28th day of Iyar, marks the reunification of the city of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) and The Temple Mount under Jewish rule almost 1900 years after the destruction of the Second Bait Hamikdash (Temple). The Old City of Jerusalem was retaken from the Jordanians during the Six Day War in 1967.
 
The Hallel [prayers of praise] is recited by some congregations. Israel's Chief Rabbis advocate reciting Hallel with a Bracha (blessing). According to some views, the restrictions of the Omer period are lifted for this day.


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