In Israel, commemorative days often bunch closely together, partly because Israel commemorates lots of things, and partly because God has designed it that way! Consider the Biblical feasts of Israel. There are seven in all, but three (Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread and Feast of First Fruits) are bunched closely together in the spring and three (Feast of Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Feast of Tabernacles) are bunched closely together in the fall. (The seventh, Pentecost, is isolated in between.) So, the Biblical feasts set the precedent!
Beginning at sundown today, Israel commemorates Yom HaZikaron, the day Israelis remember and honor those who have struggled for Israel’s existence, and lost their lives doing so. It is very similar to Memorial Day in America. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) describes the commemoration in What is Yom HaZikaron and How Does Israel Observe It?
Typically, a live national memorial ceremony is held, but due to the coronavirus, commemorative services are happening online this year. In fact, the Israeli American Council is hosting an online ceremony beginning at 5:30 pm (8:30 pm Eastern time) this evening, and the event is free. If you are interested, find more information or register on the IAC website.
Then, at sundown tomorrow, just as Yom HaZikaron comes to an end, Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) begins! The mood changes very quickly from very somber to very celebratory. I’ll share more about that tomorrow!
Let’s join with our Israeli friends in honor of those who gave their lives for Israel’s freedom. Why not bow in a prayer of thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness to His chosen people and His chosen land. After all, if God is not faithful to Israel, where is our assurance that He will be faithful to us? Praise God for His faithfulness!
PS: Be sure to check back tomorrow as we celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut with our Jewish friends!