Yom HaAtzmaut

From Halachipedia
This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.

Shaving for Yom HaAtzmaut

  1. Some authorities permit shaving in honor of Yom HaAtzmaut, however, some disagree. [1]

Davening on Yom HaAtzmaut

  1. Some authorities opposed the minhag to say paragraphs from Kabbalat Shabbat, Tehillim of Shabbat davening into Pesukei DeZimrah, and Haftorah without Brachot. [2]
  2. Many authorities hold that one should have half Hallel without Brachot. [3] Others hold that one should say a full hallel with a beracha. [4]
  3. One shouldn't make a Shechiyanu on Yom HaAtzmaut.[5] see [http://hirhurim.blogspot.com/2007/04/hallel-on-yom-ha-atzmaut.html?m=1 Summary of Opinions} by Rabbi David Shabtai

When to Celebrate

  1. Yom Haatzmaut is generally celebrated on the fifth day of Iyar. The fifth of Iyar can fall out on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday (Shabbat). When it falls out on a Friday or Shabbat, there is good reason to fear that the celebrations and ceremonies will cause public desecration of the Shabbat. Therefore, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel decided that whenever it falls out on a Friday or Shabbat, the holiday is celebrated on the previous Thursday (the 3rd or 4th of Iyar). Eventually, the Rabbis realized that even when Yom HaAtzmaut falls out on a Monday, the preparations for Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), which begins on Saturday night, cause many Jews to violate the Shabbat. Therefore, they decided that both of these special occasions be postponed by a day, establishing Yom HaZikaron on the fifth of Iyar and Yom HaAtzmaut on the sixth of the month. In practice, then, on three of the four days on which Yom HaAtzmaut can fall, we celebrate it either before or after its genuine date.[6]
  2. Some poskim say that in America, where the celebrations can be more easily controlled to avoid the desecration of Shabbat, we should celebrate on the set date of the 5th day of Iyar.[7]


  1. Some poskim allow music for the celebration of Yom Haatzmaut, even though it takes place during Sefirat Haomer, when normally it is customary to avoid listening to music.[8]

Moment of Silence

  1. Some say that the standing silently for a moment of silence when the siren rings for Yom Hazikaron and Yom Hashoah, is a holy mitzva.[9] Others say that although it is not a Jewish practice, there is no problem with it, and therefore one should stand still and recite tehillim quietly.[10]

Further Reading



  1. Rabbi Eliezer Melamed (Peninei Halacha “Yom HaAtzmaut”) writes that those who shave regularly should shave prior Yom HaAtzmaut in order to look presentable for the holiday. He also quotes Rav Yitzchak Nissim and Rav Tzvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook who agreed. Shana B’shana (5752, p. 145) quotes Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank as agreeing. Rav Shlomo Aviner (Shu"t Sheelet Shlomo 2:144) writes that it is a mitzva to shave in honor of the day. Rav Shaul Yisraeli in Mareh HaBezek 4:54 permits shaving from after midday prior to Yom HaAtzmaut even for those living outside Israel. However, Yaskil Avdi 6:10 and Rav Soloveitchik (quoted by Rav Schachter in Nefesh HaRav p. 94) argue. Rabbi Ari Enkin writes that Rav Hershel Schachter is of the opinion that Yom Ha’atzmaut does not, in fact, suspend the mourning customs of sefirat ha’omer. Rather, one is permitted to engage in those activities which are clearly identified with celebrating the creation of the State of Israel, and shaving is not one of these activities. Similarly, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu was of the opinion that one should not shave, and this was certainly not out of a lack of appreciation for the day, as he found many other ways to celebrate
  2. Rav Soloveitchik (quoted by Rav Schachter in Nefesh HaRav p. 94-6) disagreed with these minhagim because they didn't have any source in halacha and failed to incorporate the significance of Yom HaAtzmaut with these minhagim.
  3. Rav Soloveitchik (quoted by Rav Schachter in Nefesh HaRav p. 96) held that one should only say half Hallel without Brachot. Sh"t Yabia Omer 6:41-2 writes that one shouldn't make a Bracha on Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut. Yalkut Yosef 218:1 codifies this.
  4. Rabbi Shalom Messas in Sh"t Shemesh UMagen says so, however, Rabbi Messas adds that those who do not have a custom to make a beracha should not begin to do so.
  5. Sh"t Yabia Omer 6:42, Yalkut Yosef 218:2
  6. see Rav Eliezer Melamed who discusses this and shows that there is a halachic precedence for such a concept.
  7. Rabbi Gil Student cited the opinions of Rav Ahron Soloveichik and Rav Hershel Schachter. They insisted that people recite Hallel on the fifth of Iyar — the day of the miracle of the declaration of the State of Israel — regardless of when Israelis celebrate the day.
  8. Rav Shlomo Aviner Shu"t Sheelat Shlomo 1:214:6
  9. Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook (Techumin vol. 2 pg. 388) is quoted by Rav Shlomo Aviner (Shu"t Sheelet Shlomo 3:145) as arguing that there is no concern of Chukat Hagoyim (following the practices of the non-Jews) because standing to honor the fallen is a logical practice and has a clear meaning. One who is concerned about taking time away from learning Torah during the siren should think about Torah related to the self-sacrifice. One also should not separate from the community.
  10. Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (Shu"t Harav Harashi 5750-5753 pg. 157) says in order not to break away from the rest of the country and upset others by showing a lack of respect to those who were killed, one should stand still during the sirens and quietly recite tehillim or other prayers.