24th of Av, 5774
Parashat Re'eh


Yom Ha’atzmaut

Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) celebrating the declaration of the state of Israel by David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948, and the end of the British Mandate in Israel. Although Yom HaAtzma’ut is normally observed on the 5th of Iyyar, it may be moved earlier or postponed if observance of the holiday would conflict with Shabbat.

An official ceremony is held every year on Mount Herzl on the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut. The ceremony includes a speech by the speaker of the Knesset. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, along with many other religious authorities, have declared that Yom Ha’atzmaut is one of the Jewish holidays in which Hallel should be said.

For Jews living outside of Israel, celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut is a way to express solidarity with Israel. In Israel, it is a national holiday, so almost everyone has the day off. National celebrations occur and additional prayers are offered for the nation. There are parades, fireworks, and of course the heartfelt singing of Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem.