30 April 2008

Yom HaShoah / יום השואה

Some of you may remember my post, back when I'd first arrived in Israel, where I marveled that the television stations went on Yom Kippur vacation. Religious or secular, YES! (and probably HOT! -- both are cable companies) both provided images, and not programming, to the people in Israel for the full day of Yom Kippur.

On the way to Rafi's after the Conservative Yeshiva learning community (another week, another Yiddush lit lesson, this time with a post-Holocaust slant because the commemoration began at sundown), we noticed something מוזר / moozar / strange: all of the restaurants and book stores on Emek Refaim were closed. I realized quickly that they closed for יום השואה / Yom HaShoah / Holocaust Remembrance Day. Shoah literally means Holocaust, conflagration, disaster, burning down. Shoah's definition is similar to the Arab word for Israeli Independence (the catastrophe), but more on that next week. It was hard for me to believe that restaurants that were open for Passover were CLOSED for Yom HaShoah. Amazing.

At Rafi's, we turned on his TV for the Yom HaShoah טקס/ tekes /ceremony. Channel-surfing through the viewing options afterwards, we were amazed. His multiple movie stations were playing the following options: Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, JFK, and [insert Holocaust movie here]. (Rafi has Hot! cable.) There was limited programming on other channels.

Back at my house, Yes! was providing fewer programs, but I may just feel that way because I don't have all those movie stations. What Yes! is providing is: Sophie's Choice, The Pianist, and a variety of stations on Yom HaShoah Hafsaka / break. Each channel has a different picture (see below), and each picture on each station seems to have the same background music: Galgalatz, Israel's army radio, is playing only solemn, slow songs for Yom HaShoah.

The Discovery Channel and other European channels (the MTVs and VH1s) have the same stuff as usual.

"Broadcasting on this channel will resume after Yom HaShoah."
(Guess who couldn't have translated that a year ago?)

Six Candles for the Six Million.
"A Day of Memory of The Holocaust and of the Courage / Bravery"

Same as above, but with the little surfing menu at the bottom. This is what most of the channels look like.

Another iteration.

"Yom HaZikaron / Remembrance day of the Shoah / Holocaust and the Courage. Our Broadcasts will resume when we end* Yom HaShoah at 8PM."

hard to translate for me

So, while I know I haven't yet written about the rest of Pesach, I will, but not today, a sad day (and by today, I mean like I do on all Jewish holidays -- from sundown to sundown). Tomorrow there will be a siren of remembrance (this time, I've been warned). Israelis all over the country will stop their cars, their lines at the grocery store, their lectures in University, and stand at attention in solemn memory.

For now, I am going to post pictures of Yom HaShoah remembrance TV, and take a moment to remember the 6 million, to remember my own family lost in the Shoah, the scads of relatives that I never met, that my Mom never met.

May their memories be for a blessing, and may we never forget.

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