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    When to commemorate the Holocaust – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Which day in the year should we select to commemorate the Holocaust?

    A. Tishah B’Av. Menachem Begin, when prime minister of Israel, urged the Knesset and the Jewish people to endorse Tishah B’Av for this purpose.

    A great halachist, Rabbi Chaim Zimmerman, head of the Midrashah at the Harry Fischel Institute in Jerusalem, found support for Begin in Rashi’s commentary on II Chron. 35:25, which says “they made an ordinance in Israel” to lament for King Josiah, and Rashi says, “Whenever any painful event occurs they mention this tragedy with it. An example is Tishah B’Av, on which we recite the lamentations over the martyrs who were massacred through the decrees that took place in our days.”

    Begin’s idea has not yet been universally taken up, but it should be.

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