Hallel on Yom Ha-Atzma’ut

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I know this is belated, but I thought readers would find this interesting. There are many views on this subject, but R. Ahron Soloveichik’s is one that tends to get overlooked. The following is from his book Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind:

Before turning to the halachic questions raised by Yom Haatzma’ut, we must ask whether 5 Iyar, the day on which the independence of Israel was declared, is of more significance than any other day in the course of our survival in the War of Independence. I think it is… (p. 188)

There is no doubt that Hallel cannot be recited with a blessing today. (p. 191)

The recitation of Hallel is obligatory only when the redemption affects the Jewish nation in its entirety, and this will be realized only in Yemos Hamoshiach. (p. 196)

In other words, Hallel is optional on Yom ha-Atzma’ut but, if recited, should not be said with a berakhah. I distinctly remember that when he prayed in the YU beis midrash, he would say Hallel in its “proper” place while everyone else was saying tahanun.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

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