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Yom Ha'atzma'ut - Israel Independence Day occurs on 5 or, as is this year, 6 Iyyar. This date is during the mourning period of sefirah according to both common minhagim (whether you begin on 2nd day of Pesach or Rosh Hodesh Iyyar.) if so, how is playing and listening to live music allowed as I see many religious Jews doing?

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If someone says Hallel with a bracha he likely believes - correctly or not - that it's a religious day to celebrate. As such many poskim permit music for religious events – Yoni May 2 '14 at 18:43
Have you ever been to a Bris during Sefira? – Double AA May 2 '14 at 20:02
Very related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/15942/… – Isaac Moses May 2 '14 at 20:41
Similar judaism.stackexchange.com/q/6957/759 – Double AA May 2 '14 at 21:21
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein would only listen to music that was part of the festivities of the day. – andrewmh20 May 15 at 16:43

In this essay by R' Alan Haber of MMY, he makes an argument along the lines of:

  • For those who do so, saying Hallel, and therefore rejoicing, on Yom Ha'atzma'ut is either a mitzva (e.g. according to R' Meshulem Roth) or at least a minhag.

  • Mourning during the Omer is a minhag. The aspect of it that prohibits music generally, as opposed to weddings specifically, is a relatively recent minhag.

  • Therefore, rejoicing on Yom Ha'atzma'ut overrides mourning during the Omer either because a mitzva overrides a minhag or because a minhag can override another minhag, and rejoicing over the more recent event overrides mourning the more distant event.

I recommend that you read the whole essay for more detail on this and related topics.

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Also worth seeing vbm-torah.org/archive/moadim70/11-70moed.htm – Double AA May 2 '14 at 21:31
@Isaac Moses The link to the whole essay is not working. – Joshua Pearl May 11 at 14:02
@JoshuaPearl, thanks. I'll see if I can find a replacement link. – Isaac Moses May 11 at 16:03
@JoshuaPearl I contacted R' Haber and got a new link. – Isaac Moses May 15 at 14:43

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