Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A for Yom Ha-Atzmaut

Standing for Siren

Q: Is it preferable to stand silently during the siren on Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers or to learn Torah?

A: One should be silent as a remembrance of the fallen.  If he is unable to think about the fallen, he should recite Tehillim (Psalms) quietly.


Non-Jewish Custom

Q: Is standing silently during the siren a non-Jewish custom?  What does it have to do with Remembrance Day?

A: It is not a non-Jewish custom, and hardly any countries have such a practice.  One should remember the deceased and cry for them.  One who is unable should recite Tehillim.


Establishing a Holiday

Q: Do our Sages have the authority today to establish new holidays?  What is the source?

A: Yes.  Shut Chatam Sofer, Yoreh Deah 333.  Orach Chaim 208.



Q: Who rules that we do not recite Tachanun on Yom Ha-Atzmaut – especially against the great Rabbis of the generation, including Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv?

A: The question is incomprehensible.  Ha-Rav David Cohen (Rav in our Yeshiva) told me that in his youth he davened at the Tiferet Bachurim shul and when they wanted to recite Tachanun on Yom Ha-Atzmaut, Ha-Rav Elyashiv did not allow it.


Charedi Yeshiva

Q: I learn in a Charedi yeshiva in which Tachanun is said on Yom Ha-Atzamaut. I disagree with this practice.  Should I leave when the others say it?

A: It is permissible to stay and not recite Tachanun yourself.  But not in a defiant way, since you are required to honor the Torah, and this is the place where you learn.


Shave and a Haircut

Q: Is it permissible to shave and get a haircut for Yom Ha-Atzmaut?  Are all of the laws of mourning of Sefirat Ha-Omer suspended on Yom Ha-Atzmaut?

A: Yes, it is a holiday.  Responsa of Ha-Rav Yitzchak Nissim (former Chief Sefardic Rabbi of Israel).  One should shave before Maariv on Yom Ha-Atzmaut and wear holiday clothing. 



Q: Is it permissible to get married on Yom Ha-Atzmaut?

A: Same answer as for getting a haircut and shaving.



Q: Should we recite Hallel on Yom Ha-Atzmaut?  With a blessing?

A: Yes (Ruling of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel) with a blessing (Ha-Rav Shlomo Goren).

Q: Should we recite Hallel on the night of Yom Ha-Atzmaut?

A: This is the opinion of Ha-Rav Shlomo Goren, but the majority does not do so.  And this was the decision of our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook.


"Ya'aleh Ve-Yavo" and "Al Ha-Nisim"

Q: Why don't we recite "Ya'aleh Ve-Yavo", or "Al Ha-Nisim" on Yom Ha-Atzmaut?

A: Our Sages decreed in the Gemara that "Ya'aleh Ve-Yavo" is recited on Torah holidays, "Al Ha-Nisim" is recited on rabbinic holidays and Hallel is recited on future miraculous salvations.



Q: Why should we celebrate Yom Ha-Atzmaut when there is so much darkness in our State?

A: We give thanks to Hashem for the light in the State.  We cry on Tisha Be-Av for the darkness which still remains from the Exile.



Q: Where is it possible to find halachic responsa regarding Yom Ha-Atzmaut?

A: The book "Hilchot Yom Ha-Atzmaut Ve-Yom Yerushalayim" of Ha-Rav Nachum Rakover.