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Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
Rav Ovadia Yosef - Hallel On Israeli Independence Day

May one say Hallel with a Bracha on Yom HaAtzmaut? Is it even a day of celebration? In his tshuvos Yabia Omer (OC 6:41) Rav Ovadia Yosef answers these questions.

The gemara in Pesachim (117) says that Neviim were Misaken to say Hallel for every salvation of Klal Yisroel. Rav Ovadia brings Tosfos (Succah 44b) that the only time we say Hallel with a bracha is when their was a miraculous salvation to the entire Klal Yisroel. The only exception is if the Bais HaMikdash is saved like on Chanuka, since the Bais HaMikdash is the heart and soul of the entire nation. The Meiri says that if their is a Nes that doesn't include the whole nation, Hallel may be said without a bracha by those people. However the Rif, Rambam, Rosh, Smag, and Tosfos argue and hold that Hallel is not instituted, even without a bracha, for a Nes for part of Klal Yisroel.

Furthermore says Rav Ovadia, Hallel is only said on supernatural miracles and not salvation that comes Al Pi Teva. When it comes to war, Rav Ovadia brings a Ran who says that even overcoming a mightier army is possible and not considered supernatural. This is precisely why we say Hallel on Chanuka for the miracle of the Menora and not victory in battle. Moreover says Rav Ovadia, the miracle of Israel's victory was marred by many deaths. Hashem said during Krias Yam Suf, "Maaseh Yadai Tovim BaYam V'Atem Omrim Shira?" Our happiness is mixed with sadness and Hallel is not appropriate in this case. Not only that but they commemorated was not the day we ended the war but rather the day the war began and led to much bloodshed and loss of Jewish lives.

Even according to those who view the establishment of the state of Israel as "Aschalta D'Geula" the beginning of the drawn out process of redemption, still the halacha is that we only say Hallel when the Geula is complete and not when we see the early signs of recovery. Furthermore says Rav Ovadia if we look at our situation we have a very long way to go both physically where we are still threatened from all sides and spiritually where we as a nation have fallen a thousand steps backwards. After listing our many serious shortcomings as the nation of Hashem, Rav Ovadia asks, "Is this what we have waited and hoped for two thousand years?"

He does acknowledge that events have brought about a great revival of Torah in Eretz Yisroel and even many of those far from Torah have shown a receptive ear which is cause for great joy. In conclusion Rav Ovadia says that Hallel should not be said during davening even without a bracha. If someone wants to say the Mizmorim of Hallel he should do so after davening is over.

Important Note: We bring this tshuvah as a starting point for discussion and not to convey any halacha. We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.

RELATED ARTICLES:halacha  Hallel  Rav Ovadia Yosef  Yom HaAtzmaut

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Visitor Comments: 5

Ad, Chu, 2011-05-10 08:34:43
He seems to have quoted every shittah that is on his side. Although, I'm surprised he didn't mention the Chatam Sofer in OC 191 and 233 nor the Magen Avraham and Mishna Brurah in OC 686 who clearly permit establishing a personal holiday for miracles done not on a national level, al achas kamah vechama when it affected many many Jews! Even without atchalta degeula the State of Israel is a huge advocate for Jews' rights around the world in the international community. I can agree that one possibly shouldn't say a bracha, but this summary seems to be missing relevant material -- I cannot fathom that Rav Ovadia Yosef wouldn't have quoted these sources.
RE, 2011-05-10 09:04:38
To Ad - Your are welcome to look up the Tshuvah and fill in the relevant pieces that we missed.

Revach Editor
Anonymous, 2011-05-10 09:07:15
Funny I think most people believe that the state of Israel has caused problems for Jews around the world. How do you figure Ad?
ll, nyc, 2011-05-10 09:09:22
Ad, Chu, Do you think that the Chasam Sofer and the Magen Avrohom would be reciting Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut if they were alive today? Did all the Chereidi Gedolim all miss the Chassam Sofer and Magen Avrohom as well?
MR, jerusalem, 2011-05-31 13:16:53
1. He is appreciative that we have a state, he does not hold with the 3 oaths like the Satmars.
2. He is saying we are at the very begining ,facing many problems and therefore to say Hallel with a beracha or in the middle of the prayer service at this time is premature.
3. So whats the problem? Say thanks with some Hallel verses at the end of the service without a beracha.

What I don't see here is whether he says we say tachnun or skip it. Thats a more interesting point.

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