R. David Shabtai was kind enough to send me this summary of rationales and views on the recitation of Hallel on Yom Ha-Atzma'ut.
Hallel on Yom ha-Atzma'ut
Summary of Rationales
- Against reciting Hallel
- Ideological Objections
- The establishment of the State of Israel is viewed negatively; there is no value, religious or otherwise in a State without the Messiah.
- There is no significant religious value in a State that is not run according to Jewish Law.
- While significant in may ways, the State of Israel is not inherently religiously or estachatologically important.
- Technical Objections
- The war has not ended; people are still suffering and dying.
- Even if the establishment of the State is considered the start of the redemptive process, Hallel should be reserved for the ultimate redemption.
- It is inappropriate to add any festivals to the calendar to mark events in Jewish history (one may [perhaps should] intend that the Hallel on 1 Iyyar incorporate the miracles surrounding the establishment of the State).
- In favor of reciting Hallel:
- The introduction of Hallel into the services should follow the model of Rosh Hodesh.
- While it is appropriate to say Hallel, the Talmud (Shabbat 118b) warns against reciting Hallel “each day.” This warning only applies to the complete Hallel.
- Full Hallel with a blessing:
- The day is established as a real holiday.
- A blessing is appropriate for the initiation of the redemptive process.
- The miraculous nature of the founding of the State demands a blessing.
- The miracles occurred for all of kelal Yisrael, halakhically defined.
- Should depend on the community's practice with regard to reciting half Hallel on Rosh Hodesh.
- Full Hallel without a blessing:
- In theory it would be appropriate, but practically unwise and should not be done
- The Chief Rabbinate ruled to recite Hallel without a blessing.
- Out of respect for the “Hareidi” rabbis who opposed saying anything at all (as a compromise).
- Not to promulgate unnecessary dispute.
- Inherently inappropriate to recite a blessing:
- Safek berakhah le-battalah.
- The miracles did not occur to all of kelal Yisrael.
- The joy of the establishment of the State was mixed with tragedy.
- The lack of Jewish character of the current State and lack of Jewish awareness by a majority of its inhabitants militate against a complete expression of joy.
- A congregation should not recite a blessing, but individuals who choose, may do so.
- The enemies of the State continue in their belligerency; the wars have not effectively ended.
- When to be said
- At night
- Since the vote in the United Nations was at midnight, it is appropriate to recite Hallel (without a blessing) in the evening as well.
- After shemoneh esrei
- Hallel should be recited at the same point in the service that it is recited on other festivals
- After the conclusion of services
- “Al pi ha-sod” it is preferable not to introduce any breaks into the standard order of prayer services that were not instituted by the Sages to be done on those specific days.
- Even from a more traditional perspective, it is still inappropriate to change the order of the prayer service.
- The redemption is, as yet, incomplete and therefore Hallel should be delayed until the conclusion of services.
- After kaddish titkabal one may recite Hallel since the main section of the services has ended and there is some hesitation to introduce it into the normal order.
|R. Yoel Teitelbaum||X|
|R. Zvi Pesah Frank||X|
|R. Yosef Shelomoh Kahaneman||X|
|R. Eliezer Waldenburg||X|
|R. Shelomoh Goren||X||Yes|
|R. Meshullam Roth||X||Yes|
|R. Shelomoh Yosef Zevin||X||Yes|
|R. Yehudah Gershuni||X||Yes|
|R. Hayyim David ha-Levi||X||Yes|
|R. Natan Zvi Friedman||X||Yes|
|R. David Hayyim Sheloush||X||Depends ...|
|R. David ha-Kohen||X||No|
|R. Isser Yehudah Unterman||X||No, unless that is your custom|
|R. Yitzhak Nissim||X||No, unless that is your custom|
|R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik||X||No|
|R. Aharon Lichtenstein||X||No|
|R. Ovadiah Hedayah||X||No||After services|
|R. Ovadiah Yosef||X||No||After services|
|R. David Lifshitz||X||No|
|R. Ahron Soloveitchik||X||No|
|R. Avraham Shapira||X||No, unless that is your custom|
|R. Shalom Yitzhak ha-Levi||X||No|
|R. Ben Ziyyon Hai Uziel||X||No|
|R. Y. Berman||X||No|
|R. Elazar Man Shach||X||No|
|R. Shaul Yisraeli||X||No|
|R. Shalom Mesas||X||No|
|R. Y. Harlop||X||No||Night|
|R. Mordekhai Eliyahu||X||No||Before kaddish titkabal|
|R. Menashe Klein|
R. Shemu'el Wozner
R. Yosef Shalom Elyashiv
R. Shelomoh Zalman Auerbach
R. Yitzchak Hutner
R. Moshe Feinstein
|Unable to determine their positions – it seems logical|
to assume that they oppose the recitation of Hallel.
|R. Hershel Schachter||X||No||Preferably after services|
|R. Moshe Zvi Neriyah||X||No|
|R. Yitzhak Weisz||X|
|R. Ya'akov Kaminetsky||X|
|R. Menachem Mendel Schneerson||X|
 Cited in Shu”t Yabi'a Omer OH 6:41.
 Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer 10:10.
 Shu”t Kol Mevaser 21.
 Netzer Mata'ai 36.
 Shu”t Hemdah Genuzah 36.
 http://www.daat.ac.il/DAAT/ezrachut/harabanut3-2.htm note 33.
 R. Shelomo Aviner, Be-Ahavah u-ve-Emunah (Beit El, Israel: Sifriyat Hannah, 2000), 312.
 Recorded by R. Shalom Carmy; http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol03/v03n056.shtml#11.
 Shu”t Yaskil Avdi OH 6:10:7.
 Shu”t Yabi'a Omer OH 6:41.
 R. Shemuel Katz, Ha-Rabbanut ha-Rashit le-Yisrael: Shiv'im Shanah li-Yesodah, Samkhutah, Pe'uloteha, Toldoteha (Jerusalem: Heikhal Shelomoh, 2002), 902.
 http://www.daat.ac.il/DAAT/ezrachut/harabanut3-2.htm note 30.
 http://www.daat.ac.il/DAAT/ezrachut/harabanut3-2.htm note 53.
 R. Shemuel Katz, Ha-Rabbanut ha-Rashit le-Yisrael: Shiv'im Shanah li-Yesodah, Samkhutah, Pe'uloteha, Toldoteha (Jerusalem: Heikhal Shelomoh, 2002), 901.
 Ibid., 902.
 Shu”t Shemesh u-Magen OH (3:63, 66).
 http://www.daat.ac.il/DAAT/ezrachut/harabanut3-2.htm note 48.
 Quoted in Shu”t Yabi'a Omer OH 5:35:5.
 Shu”t Minhat Yitzhak 10:10.
 Shu”t Minhat Yitzhak 10:10:end.
 Iggerot Kodesh 25, 257. Also see Sihot Kodesh 5727, vol. 2, 313 regarding Yom Yerushalayim, quoted in R. Yaakov ha-Levi Horowitz, “Al 'Yom Yerushalayim:” 28 Iyyar ke-Yom Hag – ha-Omnam?,” Pardes Habad 11 (5763): 166.