`266 Thoughts on Yom Ha'atzmaut
Chananya Weissman

April 26, 2023


More thoughts follow the article.

Thoughts on Yom Ha'atzmaut


1. Yom Ha'atzmaut is not a moed. The day has no kedusha.

Contrast with real Yomim Tovim, such as Pesach and Shavuos. If a Jew is in a concentration camp on Pesach, or in prison, or out in the wilderness all by himself, the day itself is still holy, and if he has the means to observe the mitzvos associated with the day he must do so. Even if he feels no personal/emotional connection to the day, due to hardship, ignorance, or lack of inspiration, he must honor the day, because it is intrinsically holy.

Yom Ha'atzmaut is a secular day, created by secular people, celebrating secular achievements.

It so happens that some of the achievements – most notably providing greater access to the Jewish people to part of our homeland – are a tremendous gift from Hashem. We should be grateful to Hashem every day of the year for this, just like, lehavdil, every day is Mother's Day. The day these secular people chose to mark their achievements has no intrinsic kedusha.

If Yom Ha'atzmaut were a true Yom Tov, a holy day, and rabbis today had the power to consecrate it as such (they don't), then Jews outside of Israel would be obligated to treat it with kedusha. But for even the most ardent Zionists in foreign lands, Yom Ha'atzmaut is like Thanksgiving for American expats. A moed it is not.

Similarly, a Jew who finds himself alone in the middle of nowhere on Yom Ha'atzmaut will almost certainly not feel compelled to celebrate the day as he would if he were with his chevra. If it were Pesach, he would have to make a Seder all by himself, and cut no corners. On Yom Ha'atzmaut, a solitary barbecue would be nothing more than a kabob, and would certainly have no religious significance. Yom Ha'atzmaut offers nothing without social revelry; it is a social construct, not a Yom Tov.

2. The religious Jews who most ardently observe Yom Ha'atzmaut are the exact same people who most ardently supported tyranny against their brothers and sisters during the height of covid. They threw Jews out of shul for not wearing useless, dangerous masks, or injecting themselves and their children with Amalek juice. They called their friends and neighbors murderers, and treated them with hatred they don't even reserve for actual terrorists.

The rabbis who most passionately argue for Yom Ha'atzmaut to be consecrated as a real Yom Tov are the same Erev Rav who walked in lockstep with the deep state betrayal of the Jewish people, cherry-picking Torah sources and distorting them to support the unsupportable.

I cannot take these rabbis seriously. They are a farce. If they don't work directly for the deep state, they make a career out of supporting it, no matter what, which amounts to the same thing. Their followers are agenda-driven statists who made an avoda zara out of serving a secular establishment, no matter what.

This is why they celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut with more passion than they have for almost anything else Torah-related. Whatever Torah sources they dredge up are merely to justify whatever they intend to do anyway and score points in debates.

Because of this, I have greatly distanced myself from this community, which I used to admire. If they consecrate Yom Ha'atzmaut to such an extreme, unlike anyone else in the religious world, it makes me recoil. I used to enjoy a barbecue with them on this day; now they wouldn't even consider inviting me, nor would I wish to attend. Why would I want to celebrate with people who threw me out of their shuls and would have supported the government in sending me to a camp – and would do it all again right now if the government issued another mandate?

Their worship of the state, their distortion of the Torah, and their behavior the last few years – for which they have suffered tremendously but refuse to repent – all make me sick. Let them celebrate Stockholm Syndrome Day. I'm done with that.

3. Even growing up I was always uncomfortable with Yom Ha'atzmaut (see what I wrote in 2010 here). I am extremely grateful to Hashem that we sort of, somewhat, have part of Israel, and I believe we should all thank Hashem for that in our own way. However, just because Ben Gurion made a statement doesn't create a Yom Tov. The people who created the corporation known as the State of Israel were kofrim, gangsters, murderers, and scoundrels, and this same ruling class has continued to have their boots on the necks of the people – religious and secular alike – to this very day.

Not surprisingly, Ben Gurion's declaration of Israel's independence was a lie, like so many other lies. Israel has not been independent for one single moment. The corporation known as Israel is subservient to the United Nations, the European Union, Russia, China, the World Economic Forum, and – Hashem save us – the United States. I always said I will really celebrate Independence Day when Israel is an independent state. I'm still waiting.

4. Yom Ha'atzmaut is not so much a celebration of the Jewish return to its homeland as a state-run propaganda campaign for citizens to remain permanently chained to the very institutions that abuse them, to show unconditional love for cynical oligarchs and those who serve them. It is fitting that the state manipulates people's emotions by first asking them to mourn the dead, then flip a switch on command and celebrate independence day with ecstasy.

The state tells you when to cry, then the state tells you to stop crying and party. It's cruel, if you think about it. Even God doesn't toy with our emotions in this way – the Torah always guides us toward a healthy balance, not wild extremes – yet the people serve the state as they would never serve God.

Yom Ha'atzmaut propaganda was most grotesque two years ago, when state-run ceremonies featured dance ensembles celebrating syringes. Remember that? They want you to forget and move on, just like they want you to forget how they banned Holocaust survivors from attending Holocaust Remembrance Day events if they didn't have their gesundheit papers.

I don't forget and I won't just move on. If anything would be disrespecting the victims of the Holocaust (a line they frequently trot out to stifle dissent) it would be that.

5. I don't really care if you say Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut or not. There's no reason to make a fuss of it, virtue signal about it, or try to guilt people into it. But if you're going to say a bracha, you better really know what you're doing. The same rabbis who seriously entertained the idea of saying a bracha on death shots (not Hagomel or Dayan Emes) insist we are obligated to say Hallel with a bracha on Yom Ha'atzmaut. Contrary to their rhetoric, however, there is nothing to be lost by saying it without a bracha, and quite a bit to be lost by making a bracha levatala and saying Hashem's name when we should not.

In the past I said Hallel. This year, for the first time in memory, I did not. Not because I am ungrateful to Hashem – of course not – but because I'm just not feeling it. And, since Yom Ha'atzmaut is not a Yom Tov with actual halachic obligations, that's fine.

There are many rabbinic lightweights today who think they are heavyweights, worthy of auditing Chazal, canceling long standing traditions while creating new ones, who in reality know less Torah than the shoemaker in the shtetl, and aren't even remotely as pious. A little humility, please! There are also many good-hearted but agenda-driven and generally ignorant Jews who latch onto these rabbis based on an emotional desire to be pioneers of the redemption.

Unfortunately their arguments based on cherry-picked sources do not hold up to serious scrutiny, are not accepted by the overwhelming majority of Torah-observant Jews, and create needless division over issues of trivial importance.

Better a featherweight like me who knows his place than a lightweight who thinks he's a heavyweight.

So if you want to say Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut, in spite of it all, and it's coming from a good place, go for it. If you don't want to say Hallel, you shouldn't feel any pressure or obligation to do so. Either way, it's not a big deal.

As for me, I said a short prayer to Hashem to should destroy our enemies from within and without, bless us with a true, complete redemption, and give us all reason to say Hallel without any compunctions.

When the time comes, we will know.



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Leo Dee says he holds ‘no hatred’ for terrorists who killed wife, two daughters

The more this man talks, the more the brutal murder of his wife and daughters is leveraged into spreading ideas that are antithetical to the Torah and utterly humiliating besides, the more the media promotes these messages that strengthen our enemies, mislead the foolish, and endanger us all, the harder it is for me to feel sorry for him, and the more I wish he would just shut up and mourn like a normal person.

My feelings of sympathy and outrage over the shooting have become overshadowed with disgust.  And I'm not afraid to say it.  At some point it's no longer about a person's grief (evidence of which is hard to discern anyway) and about the harm this perverse spectacle poses to all of us.

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More terror victim propaganda: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/370489

"One of the things we have done also is to publish her writings and in one of the articles she wrote she said that the right reaction to terror is to invest the same energy that the terrorists have – they are ready to give their life for their ideas – so we should put the same energy but instead of going into murder and destruction and fear, to do this in the opposite direction, to do this in construction, in love, in building, in everything which is positive. So I’m trying to follow her instructions.”

Funny how they always give publicity to these messages, not to the victims who call for vengeance and defeating our enemies.  Vengeance is bad, hating our enemies is bad, accepting outrages against us and responding with "love" is virtuous.  This is all deep state propaganda, dutifully "reported" by their media organs.