Yom HaShoah (יום השואה)

For the Victims of Genocide

Almighty God, gracious Father: we remember before thee this day all those who have perished in genocides, especially those who died in the Shoah. Vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to sear into our memories the story of their peril, lest we forget their anguish and tribulations. Embolden us with thy Holy Ghost to confront those who would repeat such acts, whether brazenly or cunningly; open our mouths to speak for those in peril, lest they perish unheralded as did their predecessors; grant us to stand with the persecuted, and to protect them from their oppressors, that all thy people may dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ’s sake, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah (Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day), or colloquially, Yom HaShoah, is observed on 27 Nisan in the Jewish calendar. In 2017, that translates to the evening of 23 April and the day of 24 April. The date originally proposed was 14 Nisan, to commemorate the Warsaw Ghetto uprising on 19 April 1943, but this was problematic because the 14th of Nisan is the day immediately before Pesach (Passover). The current date is well after the end of Passover (21 Nisan in Israel, and 22 Nisan among traditional Diaspora Jews) and eight days before Yom Ha’atzma’ut, or Israeli Independence Day.

Theresienstadt concentration camp archway

The Theresienstadt concentration camp archway. From Wikipedia.

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