The Fast of the 10th of Tevet is today, January 1, and Chief Rabbi David Lau has asked Jews all over the world to say the mourner’s Kaddish prayer in memory of Holocaust victims.
He emphasized that with the ever-closer eventuality of the death of Holocaust survivors 70 years after the end of the Nazi death machine, there are less relatives alive to recite the prayer.
The fast marks the day on which the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem began in the year 588 BCE, an event which eventually led to the destruction on the Temple 20 years later and the first exile from Israel.
The fast day, which is observed from slightly before sunrise to after sunset, is commemorated shortly after Hanukkah.
The Chief Rabbinate 64 years ago, declared that the 10th of Tevet also is “Holocaust Day” in memory of the Nazis’ victims whose date of death is unknown.
“According to Jewish Law, if the day of death is unknown, a relative chooses which day on which to say Kaddish.”
The government-mandated Holocaust Day is in Nissan, a month when Jewish law does not allow public eulogies. Israel’s secular media, along with foreign media, have a field day every year photographing Haredim who walk while others stand at attention when a siren sounds nationwide to mark Holocaust Day in Nissan.
Haredim also have a problem with the custom of standing at attention, which they consider a non-Jewish custom.
The same media fail to note that in the Hebrew month of Tevet, Haredim mark Holocaust Day, as well as fast, while most of the secular part of the country acts as if nothing happened, except for this year, when they also party without realizing that the day marks the circumcision of the same man in whose name millions of Jews have been massacred over the centuries.