“We Are All One Bereaved Family”: Personal Loss and Collective Mourning in Israeli Society

Peter Y. Medding

in Studies in Contemporary Jewry: Volume XIV: Coping with Life and Death: Jewish Families in the Twentieth Century

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780195128208
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854592 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

“We Are All One Bereaved Family”: Personal Loss and Collective Mourning in Israeli Society

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The number and frequency of war casualties have made bereavement and commemoration pervasive features of the Israeli social fabric. This chapter does not purport to be an exhaustive discussion of commemoration in Israeli society, but rather seeks to establish its contours in several significant fields. The first field consists of state ministries, institutions and ceremonies — chief among them the national memorial day for the fallen. It begins with this field since it reveals the hegemonic character of bereavement and commemoration in Israel, and highlights the linkage between its Israeli and Jewish components. This national ideology provides the background for the subsequent analysis of the bereaved families themselves, first through an examination of the organization that caters to their various needs (Yad Labanim) and then through the reactions of several individual bereaved families.

Keywords: Israel; bereavement; commemoration; mourning; Yad Labanim; Jewish families

Chapter.  8366 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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