Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, Jerusalem
Holocaust Memorial Day began last night at sunset. Pretty much everything shuts down – bars, restaurants, shops etc. Television programming is all Holocaust and Shoah-related while the radio played only sad songs. People gathered formally and informally to talk about the Holocaust or watch Holocaust themed movies. It’s a pretty big deal here in Israel. The next morning at 10 am, a siren sounds across the country and everything comes to a standstill. It’s easy to describe – people stop whatever they are doing and stand at thoughtful attention for two-minutes. Cars pull over and drivers get out, schools, offices, everything stops. That having been said, it’s quite something to experience. Social media and blogs are always full of touching videos showing the experience and yet – it’s never the same as actually being there. This year I tried something different – I used three cameras in order to get multiple perspectives from Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s central market. Yeah my video editing skills suck, and yeah some guy decided to stand right in front of one of the cameras, but… I have never seen the shuk this quiet and still. Maybe this will give you a better idea of what Holocaust Memorial Day is like in Israel. I hope that helps with your own thoughtful journey today.