If you randomly ask Israelis the significance of the Hebrew date of 12 Heshvan, it’s fairly safe to say many will not know. But ask the same people about November 4, most people over the age of 30 will say without hesitation that it was the date that prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.
The shock was so great that the date was etched into the national consciousness.
Certainly there had been threats against Rabin, as well as against the lives of his predecessors, but no one ever expected that a prime minister of Israel would be killed by a Jew. It was anticipated that he might perhaps be the victim of a Palestinian terrorist or of some misguided element from a neighboring country, who may have mistakenly thought that killing Israel’s leader would eventually eliminate Israel itself – but no one expected him to be killed by an Israeli citizen, least of all an Israeli Jew.