Yizkor prayer for fallen soldiers a 'theocratic' move?

Radical secularists fumed last week at the decision to recite the traditional ‘Yizkor’ over fallen soldiers as opposed to the modified Israeli version. But calling the decision “theocratic” is as far-fetched as it is misguided; as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel must keep its bonds with Jewish tradition intact.

June 21, 2011 15:24
4 minute read.
Israel remembers its fallen soldiers at Mt. Herzel

Yizkor tekes 311. (photo credit: ITRAVELJERUSALEM TEAM)

Jewish peoplehood racked up a small victory last week, when IDF Chief of Gen. Staff Benny Gantz ruled that the memorial prayer for fallen soldiers recited at Israel’s official memorial ceremonies will be the traditional Yizkor prayer recited in synagogues worldwide for millennia, rather than a modified Israeli version written in the last century.

Knesset aide nudged by early morning tefillin SMS

The decision, unsurprisingly, has radical secularists up in arms, because while the Israeli version begins “May the people of Israel remember” (Yizkor Am Yisrael), the traditional version reads “May God remember” (Yizkor Elokim). The left-wing newspaper Haaretz, for instance, thundered in an editorial that this is part and parcel of Israel’s transformation “from a secular country into a theocracy.” Haaretz columnist Nehemia Shtrasler similarly bemoaned it as reflecting “the deep change the state has undergone in its 63 years,” from “a secular state” to “a state where the rabbis rule."


Related Content