For the first time, a Memorial Day ceremony was held in Jerusalem on Tuesday night honoring the memories of Orthodox Jewish soldiers who laid down their lives in service to their country, as well as ultra-Orthodox victims of Arab terrorism.
Some 800 people attended the event, including Jerusalem chief rabbis Aryeh Stern and Shlomo Amar, senior Israel Defense Forces officials, bereaved families, and members of the IDF’s strictly Orthodox Netzach Yehuda Battalion.
The ceremony honored the memories of Sgt. Yosef Cohen and 1st Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef, who were killed by a terrorist outside the community of Givat Asaf in southern Samaria in December.
The pair were two of the 95 Israelis who joined the list of fallen soldiers in the past year. Of those, 40 were disabled veterans who succumbed to wounds and complications sustained during their service. Another 16 names were added to the list of victims of Arab terrorism.
The additions bring the numbers to 23,741 fallen soldiers and 3,150 victims of terrorism.
Israel’s Memorial Day—Yom Hazikaron—was established in 1951 by then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, and takes place the day before Israel’s Independence Day.