Holocaust Remembrance Day, also known as Yom HaShoah, is a day when respect is paid to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. It falls on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nisan. This typically coincides with the Gregorian calendar during April or May. For 2023, this day falls on April 18.
Holocaust Remembrance Day vs. International Holocaust Remembrance Day
The commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day—Yom HaShoah—might sound similar to International Holocaust Remembrance Day in January. But the two are different.
Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) is a day…
- When the Jewish community reflects on the atrocities committed without regard for the sacred nature of human life by the Nazi regime
- When the Jewish people educate children, share stories, honor the victims of the Holocaust, and acknowledge and celebrate the lives of those who survived
- That marks the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
- Commemorated each year on the 27th of Nisan (Hebrew calendar) but changes from year to year on the Gregorian calendar
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day…
- Meant for anyone worldwide to remember the victims of the Holocaust
- Marks the day the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated in 1945
- Commemorated each year on January 27 (Gregorian calendar) and does not change from year to year
How Yom HaShoah Came to Be
As time passes, it can be difficult to understand the full extent of what happened during the Holocaust. It can also be difficult to grasp the magnitude of God’s grace and strength in preserving the Jewish people through this horrific event. This is what Yom HaShoah is all about—a time of internal reflection to remember the significance of the events.
The initiative to establish Yom HaShoah began in the 1950s to commemorate victims and survivors of the Holocaust and the Jewish resistance fighters the Nazis murdered.
The focus is on the affliction and suffering as well as the strength and perseverance of those who resisted, fought back, and survived the unbearable conditions.
How Yom HaShoah Is Observed
There have been a variety of ways Yom HaShoah has been observed in Jewish communities.
- Sound of the siren—In the 1960s, a well-known custom began—a siren blaring on Yom HaShoah, marking a two-minute time of silent devotion. Traffic and pedestrians stop when the siren sounds at sundown as the holiday begins.
- Radio and TV programs—It has become customary for all radio and TV programs to focus on stories and interviews surrounding the Holocaust.
- Shop closures—Most shops and public venues throughout Israel close on Yom HaShoah.
- Community vigils and education programs—Jewish communities in Israel will light candles and hold services and programs on the day. They might read a story of a Holocaust survivor or sing songs.
How You Can Honor Holocaust Remembrance Day—Yom HaShoah
For those who survived the Holocaust and are still with us, the horrific events are still very real in their minds. Today, Holocaust survivors still need our prayers and help as much as they ever have.
Pray for God’s promises to be fulfilled and for Israel to receive her Promised King!
“Father God, we come to You in the name of Yeshua. We praise Your mighty name. We decree and declare that You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, according to Revelation 22:13. Lord, we know that Your Word is binding, and Your covenant promises are certain to come to pass—for Israel and Believers.
“Lord, Your promises were first given to Your chosen people, Israel, and they are forever and eternal. Lord, we declare a blessing to be poured out onto Your chosen nation. We ask for Your promise of restoration to continue manifesting in individual souls as they come to know You personally through Yeshua. We come into agreement with Your Word and heart to bless Israel, and we stand on the Genesis 12:3 promise.
“Lord, we ask that Holocaust survivors come to know Your love in a new way, that they shall have renewed strength and will not grow faint, and that Believers will show them love and mercy around the world.
“Lord, we ask You to move in the hearts of Your people, stirring them to receive You fully, that Yeshua’s words in Matthew 7:7-8 come to light: ‘“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”’
“Father God, in Yeshua’s name, we ask that Your people are open to receive Your Word made flesh in Yeshua! “It is written that You are for Your chosen nation, and Your promises are yes and amen! We declare 2 Corinthians 1:20 in Yeshua’s name: ‘For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.’”
Sow a seed and support Holocaust survivors.
Many Holocaust survivors are in need, living without modern necessities and emotional support as they age and continue to work through their trauma.
- They need counseling and tools to help them cope with everything they saw and experienced.
- They need fellowship and care as they age.
- They need comfort, support, and dignity in their last years.
While many survivors did indeed somehow find a way to move on with their lives, start families, and even move to new lands, this often came at the price of suppressing the memories of the Holocaust. Most often, these memories manifest later in life.
Late-onset post-traumatic stress disorder is common among war veterans, Holocaust survivors, and others who have experienced such tragedies early in life.
Survivors often suffer from confusion, nightmares, and hallucinations, especially now that they are aging and are more likely to experience other health complications, like Alzheimer’s and dementia. These are people who survived the mass murders of the Holocaust but are still fighting to survive their memories every single day.
We are honored to be able to provide weekly meals and ongoing support for those who endured much. Will you join us on this Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day—to pray for and sow into those who are strong, resilient, and loved by God?“‘I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”—Genesis 12:3