The empty tombstone of Israeli soldier Israeli Yudkin who was killed in battle in the Gaza Strip. June 23, 2024. (Photo by Chaim Goldberg/FLASH90) (Photo by Chaim Goldberg/FLASH90)
Yudkin tombstone

The Council also recommended adding the option of writing ‘zichro / zichra livracha’ [of blessed memory] on military gravestones.

By Vered Weiss

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared that the current regulations would be changed and that the phrase “May God avenge his blood” would be inscribed on a fallen soldier, Captain Yisrael Yudkin’s tombstone.

Although the phrase ‘Hashem yikom damo’ is often used concerning those who are killed by enemies of Israel, until now, army regulations have not permitted it to be carved into the tombstone of a fallen soldier.

After the Yudkin family’s initial request to have the phrase written on the tombstone was refused, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with a council of bereaved family members, representatives of the Yad Labanim organization, and the IDF Widows and Orphans Organization.

Together, they concluded that “by a majority vote that that the phrase ‘Hashem yikom damo’ – [May G-d avenge his blood] is not an unusual expression, but an accepted wording that is part of the Jewish faith.”

The Council also recommended adding the option of writing ‘zichro / zichra livracha’ [of blessed memory] on military gravestones, again at the families’ request,” the council announced.

Following the vote, Gallant instructed to Ministry of Defense to change the regulation and allow the inscription on the tombstone.

The Yudkin family was insistent on having the phrase written on their son’s tombstone and went so far as to insist they would erect a blank headstone if they were denied permission to add the inscription.

Prior to the resolution, Tzipi, mother of Captain Yisrael Yudkin Hy”d, told Channel 14 about her family’s ordeal.

“This is not some kind of new concept. It is inscribed not only in Israel but on Jewish graves all over the world. Only the Jewish state forbids inscribing the acronym Hy”d on the gravestone of a Jewish soldier. It is incomprehensible.”

She added,”This is a feasible option and it is hard to even say this, but it would be a real tragedy for the country if we had to remove him from Mount Herzl and take him to another holy place where we can engrave ‘May God avenge his blood’ on his tombstone.”

“That would be the end of the State of Israel. For this, they will have to burn tires in the streets,” she concluded.

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