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Jun 24, 2024

Hashem Yikom Damo

The Yudkin family is fighting with the IDF to get the initials hyd inscribed on their son's grave. 

Yisrael Yudkin, 22 years old from Kfar Chabad, was killed in battle in Gaza. 

The family wants the traditional hyd on the grave. HYD stands for Hashem Yikom Damo - God should avenge his blood. The IDF is saying, sorry we don't do that. You can't put that on the top of his grave but you can put it on the side stone. 

I'm not sure how but somehow this has also turned into a haredi/non-haredi issue, with many taking a side referencing this as being an issue on which to be considerate of haredim, if we want them to draft. I'm not sure why it is a haredi issue, let alone to be specifically on top rather than the side. Are haredim the only people who request hyd on graves? 

The IDF is a bureaucracy. Probably the largest of all Israeli bureaucratic organizations, alongside Bituach Leumi. The IDF has its rules and guidelines. For whatever reason they don't put hyd on the grave, on top, and want uniform grave memorials. That's the way it is. 

Honestly, this doesn't seem like a major issue, one that needs to be fought about, in either direction. I don't know why the IDF doesn't put hyd on (though I understand why as a bureaucracy they refuse to change the policy) and I don't know why the lot needs to fight it and be the exception.. If you want a military burial, follow the rules of the military burial. If you want to write your own epitaph on the grave, do a private burial. 

In the end, I think this will be a trigger for the long run to push the idf to change policy-this policy and probably others, to be considered more culturally sensitive. Especially as the IDF will get more religious in the coming years... 

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  1. Hy"d is usually seen as more appropriate to someone killed in an anti-Semitic attack, an act of terror, etc., and not to someone killed while fighting in uniform.

    Every IDF grave reads תנצב"ה. Bear in mind that many IDF casualties were not victims of enemy action. Anyone who dies while serving is considered an IDF casualty, including of course friendly fire but also accidents, suicide, even disease or illness. I imagine one big factor here is that the IDF doesn't want people looking at graves and saying, "Huh, no 'hy'd.' He doesn't 'rank as high' as the 'real' casualties."

  2. Garnel IronheartJune 25, 2024 12:33 AM

    HY"D is for civilians who were murdered without the chance to fight back. A soldier going into battle faces the possibility of being killed. It's part of the job.
    As for the IDF getting more religious, this will be the next secular-religious battleground after judicial reform restarts as the shrinking secular Ashkenazi elite fight to maintain control of it, just like they have the government.


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