Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Contraversy?

Yom Ha'atzmaut. Why must it be so controversial?

The purpose of this post is not to state my beliefs regarding the day, rather to bring up some random comentary on it.

1)Hashkafa - If it wasn't during Sefira, it would be a lot less controversial. Duh. People would be more likely to want to celebrate a holiday during Sefira that was not instituted by a universally accepted sanhdrin, especially if said holiday was crammed with music, dancing and celebration.

2) Halacha - As mentioned above, Yom Ha'atzmaut presents issues regarding Sefira and mixing it with celebrations. This wouldn't be a problem for those who actually believe the holiday to have the power to override Sefira on a regular year. However, this year specifically just rubs me the wrong way. Yom Ha'atzmaut fell out on a Monday this year, but the fact that people were going to be Mechalel Shabbos to set up for Yom Hazikaron (which falls out the day before) pushed both days off one day.

No other Chag has this halacha of being pushed off due to the fact that the prep on the day before will lead to Michalel Shabbos. In fact, we see that if any other Yom Tov falls out on Shabbos, we celebrate it on that day, minus certain key elements of the chag (i.e. Shofar on Rosh Hashana; Arba Minim on Succos). Other days like fast days get pushed off entirely.

Now I'm all for preventing chillul Shabbos, but you can't simply break the Halachos of Sefira because a holiday fell out inconveniently. Celebrate the holiday on the day that it was supposed to be celebrated. This is not an American holiday that we celebrate on a Monday or Thursday (and not a particular date) because we want a longer weekend. It's independence day. Even we Americans had the common sense to make that holiday on an actual date and not change it. Ever.

3) Strife - I hate the fact that this day, that is supposed to be a celebration of a great time in our nations history divides us more than it brings us together. Some say full Hallel with a b'racha; some say it without a b'racha; some just don't say Tachanun; some treat it as a regular day; some say selichos; some tear K'riyah (really). It's insane. This is not what this day should be about.

4) Confusion - The holiday is the commemoration of a nation gaining it's freedom. Why can't people acknowledge this? Charedim in America acknowledge July fourth as Independence Day. Why can't charedim in Israel at least acknowledge the day as an Independence Day without the Yom Tov part of it? There was a war. Somebody won. Against all odds. Hello!

Anyway, I'm sorry this came out so late, but I just wonder things like this all the time, and I figured better late than never.


  1. hello, me! this post is me. wow.

  2. The day that is celebrated (5th of iyar)there was no war, it was the day that the british mandate ended and there was a proclamation for the state of Israel. Its the same as july 4th, but as you mentioned there should be no halachic ramifications whatsoever. Dont get me wrong, anyone who knows me, knows that I love Israel, but I dont see a need to throw the halachot of sefira out the window.

  3. i agree to this post 100%. celebrate it the right day

  4. the apple- I feel like this post represents more than just you and me.

    YPGA- Thanks for the correction and regarding the Halacha, that's what I've been saying.

    Michel- Exactly.

  5. btw, Rav Schachter poskins that you should say Hallel on 5 Iyar, regardless of being pushed off or not. We actually did that a few years ago (I forget if it was 2 or 3) when that happened. Though this year I was caught off guard and wasn't informed of the push-off. You make a lot of good points that I'm pretty sure are on most thinking people's minds.

  6. Shades- yeah. I thought so. It's just so frustrating that such a day is in such an inappropriate time of year,