Honorable Mensch-ion

Recite Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut

Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day is a modern holiday, 76-years-old. We mark our biblical and rabbinic festivals by adding liturgy in our daily services. The Rabbis ask, “Should we recite Hallel, Psalms of praise on Yom Ha’atzmaut?”

The Talmud teaches that Hallel is added when we recognize times in which miracles saved the Jewish people. So why is it that we recite Hallel on Passover but not on Purim?

The answer: On Passover, there was no State of Israel. We had just left Egypt and were on our way to the Promised Land. Yet, when a miracle occurs on Purim, we already had a land of Israel. We were in exile and waiting to return home. In that case, Hallel is not recited.

I can think of no better ritual this year than to recite Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut this Tuesday, May 14. As a people, we have been through the depths of evil. October 7 has changed us forever. But May 14, 1948 inspired us eternally. It was on that day, when David Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel. My grandfather was born into a world without Israel. My father was born into a world without Israel.

I was born into a world with Israel and my children were born into a world with Israel.

I know that I must do more than just pray that my grandchildren will also be born into a world with Israel. Let us start with the Hallel praise, and raise our voices and our hands to thank God for this special gift we must cherish each day.

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