Memorial candles (illustrative)
Memorial candles (illustrative)Flash90

An initiative of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, Zikaron BaSalon and Shem V’Ner (Our 6 Million) has been introduced with the goal of helping Jews around the world adopt a commonly-embraced custom for Holocaust remembrance.

"Generations Light the Way" is an initiative inspired by the many traditions within Jewish practice that focus on remembrance, often including specific prayers and symbols. The goal is for a similar tradition to become widely accepted and thereby provide a common way for Jews of all backgrounds and levels of observance to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and create a tradition of Holocaust remembrance to be passed from generation to generation.

The concept is being advanced by the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization Yad Vashem, Zikaron BaSalon and Shem V’ner. It calls for individuals, families or other private or public gatherings all over Israel and the world to perform similar ceremonies which begin with the identical act of lighting six memorial candles.

Friends and family are invited to take part in a tradition of remembrance on the eve of Yom Hashoah- Holocaust Remembrance Day, held each year on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nissan. They will light six candles and recite Abba Kovner's poem “Nizkor” and/or the “El Maleh Rachamim” prayer for the deceased - or any other passage or prayer they feel is appropriate for the situation, as a way of identifying with the victims of the Holocaust.

“This idea is to introduce and popularize a new custom,” the organizers said. “When people come to embrace this custom, by simply lighting candles and reading relevant texts alongside family and friends, we will be able to establish a lasting legacy of remembrance that has symbolic and social importance. Most importantly, it will help preserve the memories of the Holocaust in years and decades ahead as proper remembrance becomes only more challenging with the passage of the last survivors.”