Collections > Israel > 40 Year Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War


Forty years have passed since the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War. The unexpected siren on Yom Kippur afternoon, October, 6, 1973, was a seminal moment signaling a turning point for the nation and the State. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, we have created a website containing archival material from the National Library examining the war and its repercussions for the Israeli public during and after the events of 1973.

 
From the strong voices of military leaders of the war, to the 10 year old girl wondering how the animals in the zoo are cared for during the sirens; from the siren that pierced the air to the protest movement that started with one man and changed Israeli reality. The fear, feelings of isolation, as well as the mass recruitment to help- an entire nation stood in front of the mirror to examine what had happened.  In this context, "All We Pray For" by Naomi Shemer, the song that became a prayer, became a hit.

 

"When the order is given, we'll burst forward"
 
Documents from the field: As soon as the war began, the IDF began to publish both military documents and articles aimed at soldiers. High ranking officers would publish decisive announcements, while the articles included words of encouragement, basic information, photographs, a bit of humor and numerous warnings.

  


 
 
 
 
 
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The song that became a prayer "All We Pray For"
 
During the height of the war, Noami Shemer wrote the song "All We Pray For". What began as a Hebrew version of the Beatle's "Let it Be", became an Israeli prayer, rooted in public consciousness. "All We Pray For" was so popular because it expressed the shared Israeli experience of the war and the days following it.

 

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Suddenly a man rises and becomes a protest movement
 
The war shook the Israeli public: at the end of the war, public discussion turned to the "failure". Motti Ashkenazi, a reserve officer posted at Fort Budapest on the Suez Canal, stood in front of the Prime Minister's Office and began a one-man protest. Eventually, a protest movement emerged on a national level.

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The children of 1973: class picture
 
The children's media of that era reflects a generation of thinking, involved, worried, scared children who were also proud and wanted to help the national war effort.
 

 
 
 
 
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 "Keep a secret - save a life!"
 
The fear of revealing a secret to the enemy and the increasing awareness regarding the need for secrecy. Every stranger or unexpected guest could be a spy.