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Happy Yom Haatzmaut!!!!!!!

Please see the comments to the post "I don't say Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut But etc." This is a response.

I know little about medicine. So if I have a medical question I ask a doctor. I know little about law so when I have a legal question I ask a lawyer. When it comes to halacha I feel a little bit more comfortable but still accept my limitations. There are Gedolei Torah in Klal Yisrael. I am not one of them [please forgive me for stating the obvious]. So if there is a halachic question to which I don't know the answer I ask a gadol. I think that everything I said now is difficult to debate [unless you really despise lawyers].

There is an entire sefer dedicated to the question of saying Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim most of which I read in my Yeshivat Hakotel days. But I felt myself much to small to decide. So I went to the Gedolim. Of course it is debatable who is a greater Gadol but it seems to me that the Chazon Ish, Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank and Rav Ovadiah Yoseph Shlita are undeniably top caliber [those who have learned their sefarim know what I mean]. They did not say Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut [the first two definitely omitted Hallel and it seems from the teshuva that I will quote momentarily that Rav Ovadiah doesn't either] and so seems to be the consensus of other Gedolei Yisrael. [See Rav Ovadiah's teshuva in Yabia Omer 6\41 where he says that if one wants to there is a heter to say Hallel without a bracha after Aleinu.] There are certainly Rabbonim who paskened that one should say Hallel but they are not as great in Torah as those who don't. And if one can name a first rate gadol who did say Hallel he is certainly in the minority. So if when we have a question in Hilchos Shabbos we follow the rulings of our Gedolim I strongly believe that we should do the same when it comes to this question. For many unfotunately the question is more political than halachic. Politika [in hebrew] shares a gematria with Amalek. I am a-political.

People often confuse the question of whether one should say Hallel with the question of whether ones appreciates the gift of our self-dominion [as flimsy as it may be]. If one doesn't appreciate the fact that we are no longer suffering in Israel under Gentile rule - he is an ingrate. It is better in Israel today in many respects, than it has been in at least two thousand years. Of course one cannot overlook all of the problems but when all is said and done - there is much to be thankful for. So Baruch Hashem!!!!!!!!!!!

But that doesn't mean that one has to say Hallel. That issue is based on various halachic issues that are beyond the scope of this post. So when boys ask me what to do - I tell them to follow their Rebbe [or the Yeshiva if they are Netiv boys]. If they claim that I am their Rebbe [however unworthy I may be] I tell them that I don't say Hallel as my Rebbe [who in my opinion is a baki bchol haTorah kula - including Toras Hanistar] doesn't. This same Rebbe gives strong mussar to the Chassidim that they should appreciate the fact the we have a State.

One more point. It infuriates me when people question the religiosity of those who did not say Hallel. Case in point: The Brisker Rov was a Gaon Olam who had more Yiras Shamayim than just about any other Jew of his time. He was koolo lashem. His dikduk bmitzvos was simply awe-inspiring. He was also a rabid opponent of the State and certainly would have called a bracha on Hallel an issur gamur. One can possibly argue that he was mistaken [if one is big enough to argue] BUT NOT THAT HE LACKED RELIGIOUS DEVOTION. The same goes of the Chazon Ish, The Satmer Rebbe and frankly the entire Charedi world today which suffers a great degree of material discomfort in order to learn Torah and for whom Torah is everything. [Of course not every Charedi Jew is a complete Tzaddik but I for one am impressed by the centrality of Torah in most of their lives.] So argue with their opinion [again, if one has the knowledge to do so] but PLEASE don't cast aspersions on their level of religious commitment.

There is much more to say but I leave it up to the intelligent reader to draw their own conclusions.

With love to all [even though I might just have annoyed you. But of course we remain friends. Friends don't always have to agree. Like sometimes I disagree with my wife until she shows me how wrong I am. She is my Gadol on certain issues].

I am waiting for your incisive comments!!!!!!!!!!

That was quite an intresting post -I am still digesting it and I am assuming I will be the first of many posts. Firstly, I happen not to say Hallel on Yom Ha'aztmaut because Rebbe Shlita does not, but I know of a gadol who says Hallel without a bracha and I am curious as to what Rebbe's opinion is of this minhag? (I venture to say that Rebbe does not like this minhag because it seems like your saying tehillim as a political statement -but I don't know rebbe's opinion.)

Secondly, I think what upsets holy jews who say Hallel with a bracha is that Jews who do not are essentially slaping-in-the-face of the State and all the good that has come from it and are not doing hakarats hatov. Obviously, this is not the case - it should be a strictly halachic matter not a political statement. (although the state is not perfect in my view) However, saying or not saying Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut is PERCEIVED as a political statement and since it is perceived as one I think the problem of it being perceived as one should be addressed. (As rebbe did here)

well, thank you for giving details and sources.

i first want to comment on your original post. blackbeltstep suggested that there would be another date that you would "celebrate" the nitzachon (whether with hallel or otherwise). i wanted to expand on that and point out that both channukah and purim are celebrated on a date after the nitzachon/yeshua respectively (though we don't say hallel on purim, see rav korn's archives). so, this certainly would not be unprecedented.

secondly, with all due respect for the gedolim that you mentioned, i personally find it difficult for us to accurately gauge who is a bigger gadol than whom. though i do agree that your point is well made that those who say to say hallel are in the minority, i would simply assume that we each should follow our individual LOR.

finally, back from my days in the- yeshiva-formerly-known-as-yeshivat-hakotel, i believe rav bina's shita would be to say hallel without a bracha on YH and with a bracha on YY. now, to understand your take and hillel's query in the last post, if a person is saying hallel to HKBH, this should be the purest sense of l'shem shamayim. not that i can't see how polotika could be an influence, but i would like to think that l'shem shamayim and hallel to G-d would go hand-in-hand. that said, as i do consider you one of my rebbeim (along with rav bina), i'd be interested in hearing your take on that minhag too. thans again for your blog and your warm words. shkoi'ach. your talmid, hubscubs

If a person doesn't say Hallel with a bracha on yom haatzmaut that person is anti-zionist.

S.F.K.-
You wrote "If a person doesn't say Hallel with a bracha on yom haatzmaut that person is anti-zionist."
I just heard an interview of one of the Neturei Karta who went to what he called the "possibility that the Holocaust did not exist" convention, and he mentioned "zionism" and "the zionist regime" quite a lot. So I am quite curious what we to what we are deemed "anti" when we don't say Hallel. Please: do define 'zionism' for me.

S.F.K-
That's quite a bold comment you made.

First, are you aware that Rav Kook, the father of the Religious Zionist movement (the only movement that would say Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut) said that a Chareidi living in Israel is more of a zionist than any "zionist" living in chutz la'aretz. Do you live in Israel? If not, then maybe you should be making such comments.

Second, your definition leaves very little room for the existence of zionists. The Chilonim are not zionists since they don't say Hallel. Nor are the Chareidim (Rav Kook's opinion notwithstanding). Many of the dati-leumi world are also not zionist, since they too do not say Hallel with a beracha.

In fact, not only are they not zionist according to your definition, but they are ANTI-zionist.

I understand that there are Rabbanim who say that one should say Hallel with a beracha on Yom Ha'atzmaut. But have any of them referred to this who don't as anti-zionist? Or it that just your ridiculous statement?

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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