In most years, the observance of Yom HaAtzmaout is not celebrated on the actual day that the State of Israel was declared (the 5th of Iyyar) in order to prevent a desecration of the Sabbath.
This year, it is celebrated on the 6th of Iyyar, so that the Memorial Day Services begin on Sunday night rather than Saturday night. (In fact, the next time that Yom HaAtzmaout will be celebrated on the 5th of Iyyar is in the year 2020!!)
If Judaism lends importance to actual date of an event, how can we reconcile the following issues:
- Rav Goren zt"l ruled that the proper day should be observed, but what about separating ourselves from the public who observes the deferred day?
- When should we recite the Hallel prayer? Isn't it in vain if we're not saying it on the day of the miracle?
- When do we add the Al-HaNissim prayer to our Birkath HaMazon and Shmona Esray?
Rav Bar-Hayyim suggests that we look to "Purim Meshulash" for the answer. The festivities and customs of the day should be divided into two:
- The early/deferred day would include the public celebrations, including Hallel, Shechechiyanu and the "She Assa Nissim" prayer
- The actual day, the 5th of Iyyar, should include the Al HaNissim additions to the Shmona Esray and the Birkat HaMazon as well as the special Torah reading.
The additions to the tefila would occur even when the 5th of Iyyar is observed as the Memorial Day for fallen Israeli soldiers and those who were murdered in terrorist attacks.
This is the case this year. For a copy of the article/psak, please email my friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chag Sameach LeGeulah Shelayma!