Yellow Candles have traditionally been used on Yom HaShoah, in community-based observance programs. Men’s Clubs and other organizations deliver Candles before Passover, two weeks before Yom HaShoah. The timing is no coincidence, since the Warsaw Ghetto uprising started in conjunction with the Passover remembrance of liberation from slavery and oppression, leading to the birth of the Jewish people at Sinai.
Other organizations and individuals have developed programs that include the use of Yellow Candles. Some choose recognized dates on the calendar commemorating other historical events. Some focus on individual remembrance for family members lost in the Shoah or for survivors who have passed on in our local communities. This page gives a number of anniversary dates.
November 9 - Kristallnacht
The “Night of Shattered Glass” occurred on November 9, 1938 and is generally regarded as the opening shot of the Holocaust. On November 9th and 10th, the Nazis promoted and staged state-sanctioned pogroms all over Germany. 267 synagogues were looted or burned, 7500 Jewish businesses were destroyed and 91 Jews lost their lives. Countless others were injured, cemeteries were vandalized and over 25,000 Jews were arrested and re-located to concentration camps.
January 27 - International Holocaust Remembrance Day
In early 1945, Red Army troops had advanced into Poland. On January 27, soldiers of the Soviet Union entered and liberated the Auschwitz/Bergen-Belsen complex.
27 Nisan - Yom HaShoah
This holiday follows the Hebrew calendar. The Gregorian dates are as follows:
5783 - Monday April 17, 2023 - Tuesday, April 18, 2023
The Yellow Candle should be lit Erev Yom HaShoah, on the evening prior to the above dates Each Jewish day begins on the evening after sunset. Candle lighting normally occurs after three stars are visible in the night sky. This date corresponds to the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.