You may wish to light Shoah Yellow Candles on days other than Yom HaShoah – “Light a Candle, Preserve a Memory”™. Please refer to your Rabbi for guidance.
The FJMC Shoah Yellow Candle™ remains an important symbol, and we want to suggest alternative opportunities to distribute and the days to light the Shoah Yellow Candle. Lighting your Shoah Yellow Candle on these days, remembering a child or a loved one who lost their lives in the Holocaust, is an appropriate and educational way to remember a young life who perished in the Holocaust, perhaps whom no one may be left to say the Mourners Kaddish or Yizkor. Of course, if you are a Synagogue or Temple, please consult with your Rabbi to determine appropriateness what might be an appropriate option. The following are some alternatives. It would be best if you always referred to your Rabbi for guidance.
- Yahrzeit is the anniversary of the death of a parent or close relative and is most commonly observed by burning a candle for an entire day. Often people will light a Shoah Yellow Candle, in addition to a traditional glass Yahrzeit Candle, on the day they recite a memorial prayer for a loved one. One can say a prayer for the six million who perished in the Holocaust.
- Shavuot – On Shavuot, it is traditional to recite the Yizkor (The opening word of the communal memorial), which is the traditional mourning service recited in memory of a parent or other close loved one or friend during synagogue services on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), on the eighth day of Passover (Pesaḥ), on Shemini Atzeret (the eighth day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles), and on the first or second day of Shavuot pending if you celebrate one day or two days (Feast of Weeks).
- Yom Kippur is another day when Yizkor is recited. Your club could distribute the Shoah Yellow Candles and the name of a murdered child during Rosh Hashanah services with the request to light the candle on Erev Yom Kippur.
- Tisha B’Av – The 9th of Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and is a day that recalls tragedies that befell the Jewish People throughout the ages. Many congregations have used the Shoah Yellow Candle during their services on Tisha B’Av as an opportunity to light a Yellow Candle at home. Additional suggestions for Tisha B’Av may be found below.
- Kristallnacht – Many organizations light the Shoah Yellow Candle™ to memorialize Kristallnacht (November 9 -10), which marked the intensification of a regime of terror against the German Jews. Violent mobs, spurred by anti-Semitic exhortation from Nazi officials, destroyed hundreds of synagogues and burned or desecrated Jewish religious artifacts. Acting on orders from Gestapo headquarters, police officers and firefighters did nothing to prevent the destruction. Approximately 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and schools were plundered, and 91 Jews were murdered. An additional 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. The FJMC Yellow Candle™ Program allows families to speak about events leading to the Holocaust, perhaps for the first time, and raise awareness of what can happen if Anti-Semitism goes unchallenged.
- International Holocaust Remembrance Day – January 27 is designated by the United Nations as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Since 2005, the United Nations member countries have held commemorative ceremonies to mark the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and honor the Six Million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism. International Holocaust Remembrance Day aims to promote Holocaust education throughout the world. On January 27, many state and local governments, Canadian provinces, public schools, the US military, churches, and other organizations commemorate the Holocaust.
In each of the above examples, the name of a Child and the meditation may be used.
The tragedy of the Holocaust is not to be forgotten to prevent similar heinous crimes or repeat offenses. Sharing light through remembrance using the Shoah Yellow Candle is just a moment in time but a timeless moment that can never be forgotten. The tool of light – through candle sharing – will shine truth on everyone it comes across.
We cannot forget the Holocaust; we must educate its lessons to prevent hatred and intolerance. Together we can shine the light, even at this time of our own darkness.