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Literature, Poetry, Theory/
Yizkor:May we remember the fallen from the Black Shabbat

Yizkor: May we remember the fallen from the Black Shabbat of 5784-2023 and let us embrace the living | Shitim Institute

May the People of Israel remember the innocent souls of its sons and daughters, faithful and brave, people of labor and peace, victims of the massacre on the Black Shabbat of 5784.

Let us remember the women and men murdered in their homes, in their kibbutzim, moshavim, and cities of the Gaza envelope, which were breached and occupied by a cruel and merciless enemy.

The mother, gathering the last of her strength to hold the iron door handle tight to protect her family from the evil on the other side.

The father, throwing his children out of the window of their burning home, leaping out after them and taking the lead bullets with his own body.

The friends, fleeing murderers through the fields but finding no refuge.

Let us remember the noble and courageous ones who ran to defend the communities.

The warriors, women and men, from local security teams, who remained vigilant and confronted the enemy with their meager weapons, fighting for their lives.

The soldiers, women and men, positioned along the fence, who fought courageously, the few against the many, and fell in battle.

Those serving in the Search and Rescue forces, the Israel Security Agency, the Israel Police and the Israel Defense Forces, who hastened from all over the country to help their brethren under attack and were cut down in the killing fields.

Let us remember the victims of terror from the Western Negev and the Bedouin communities, year after year, to this very day.

All the inhabitants of the frontier, citizens and soldiers, foreigners, immigrants, and residents, whose bodies served as our border.

Let Israel remember, and be blessed by its scions, and mourn the radiance of youth, the preciousness of courage, the sanctity of will and the devotion of self-sacrifice that perished in this fierce battle. May those who fell on that Black Shabbat be bound up in the hearts of Israel for all the generations to come.

Let us embrace the living, the survivors of the hell and the atrocities on that dark day.

Let us embrace the hostages, women and men, who are being held prisoner in the underbelly of Gaza, as well as the missing, whose fate is yet unknown.

Let us embrace the old woman and the soldier, the young boy and the teenage girl, the family members who were taken captive together, the mother taken from her babies, and the babies taken from their parents.

Behold, their eyes are looking upon us, so let us not remain silent until they are returned home.

Let us embrace the little girls and boys who grew up under the shadow of a volcano and were caught in the crosshairs of the erupting inferno.

The wounded, of both body and spirit.

Those trembling with worry for their dear ones who were captured and are missing.

The orphans, the widows and widowers, and all the bereaved.

The refugees of this war, the communities of Israel, by the thousands, who were forced into exile from their homes without knowing when they may return.

Let our mourning not go silent, and not be comforted, and not fade away until Israel returns and redeems its plundered land, and dwells upon it in safety and peace for all the generations to come.


This writing was inspired by the previous versions of the Yizkor prayer, as written by Berl Katznelson for the fallen from Tel Hai, Abba Kovner for the victims of the Holocaust, and Ahuvia Malchin and Aharon Ze’ev for Israeli casualties of war.

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