Yom Yerushalayim: A Day of Open Miracles

BY RABBI YOSEF ZVI RIMON

On the eve of the Six-Day War, 5727 (1967), the security situation in Israel was very tense. The Arab nations were preparing for war with Israel, and Israel feared disastrous results that would devastate the country. But when the war broke out, everyone saw miracles with their own eyes. The IDF destroyed large parts of the Egyptian Air Force, and within six days captured half of the Sinai Peninsula, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights. It was a brilliant victory!

To mark this victory, which included salvation from death to life, and to mark the liberation of Jerusalem from 2,000 years of the yoke of foreigners, we celebrate the day of the liberation of Jerusalem.

Many of the halachic issues surrounding Yom Yerushalayim are similar to the discussions concerning Yom HaAtzmaut: establishing a day of joy, reciting Hallel with a blessing, the laws of mourning and Sefirat HaOmer on Yom Yerushalayim.

The halachic decision concerning Hallel on Yom Yerushalayim is even simpler than on Yom HaAtzmaut. Concerning Yom HaAtzmaut there is room to discuss whether it was indeed a miracle worthy of praise because the miracle is not yet complete, our enemies are still working to destroy us and the religious state of the country still requires much fixing. But with regard to Yom Yerushalayim, it is easier to establish the recitation of Hallel with a blessing, for the victory in the Six-Day War was an overwhelming and unqualified victory, we were saved from death to life, and because we captured Jeruslaem, our holy city and our glory.

Chief Rabbi Unterman explained: “There is a certain superiority to the day that symbolizes the very existence of the State when it comes to celebration and joy, and that day [Yom HaAtzmaut] will forever remain the day of the birth of the State of Israel. We hope that our country will flourish and prosper, absorb the ingathering of the exiles and from strength to strength as we pave the way to our redemption. However, concerning the blessing for Hallel, the 28th of Iyar is superior, for we saw open miracles like the collapse of our enemies’ strength in just two days, and we liberated Jerusalem and the surrounding cities. For a day of open miracles, we are obligated to recite Hallel with a blessing” (Responsa Shevet miYehudah, Part II, Orach Chaim 59:2).

And so concerning Yom Yerushalayim, the Chief Rabbinate established from the very beginning that we recite Hallel with a blessing, and so it is accepted to this day.

 

Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon is the Nasi of World Mizrachi. He is the Founder and Chairman of Sulamot and La’Ofek, and serves as the Chief Rabbi of Gush Etzion, and Rosh Yeshivah of the Jerusalem College of Technology.

© 2024 World Mizrachi

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