In Jewish tradition, we generally commemorate the ends of wars rather than their beginnings (e.g./i.e. Chanuka, Purim). The commemoration of the rebirth of Israel as the Jewish homeland in the past century is popularly (in non-Haredi circles) celebrated on 5 Iyar, the day when the declaration of independence from British rule was made, which triggered a war with the Arab world. Is there any rabbinic authority who proposes that the actual commemoration should occur on 10 Adar, Ink Flag Day, when the war ostensibly ended (and without bloodshed) or, at least, addresses the issue?

B&W image of soldiers raising an Israeli flag[2]

"The Ink-Drawn National Flag" by Micha Perry, licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by Government Press Office

  • 2
    @DoubleAA For secular Zionists, on the other hand, for whom humanist self-determination is the utmost value (and for whom commemoration of the Holocaust occurs specifically on the anniversary of the doomed Warsaw uprising) the declaration of independence is the concept to celebrate (regardless of how the war would have turned out) in sharp contradistinction to the concept of divine salvation celebrated traditionally.
    – Loewian
    Apr 20 '15 at 4:02
  • 6
    Chanuka doesn't celebrate the end of the war. It celebrates the rededication of the Beit Hamikdash. Similarly, if asked, most zionists would claim to be celebrating the day Hashem gave us the gift of the State of Israel. Not a Geulah from some threat of destruction or the War of Independence. I've never heard of any rabbinic authority which suggests celebrating a different day, though a common objection to celebrating 5th Iyar is that the war began on that day.
    – Meh
    Apr 21 '15 at 12:21
  • 1
    @Meh Fair enough. However, the interpretation of the Tur that the very name of the holiday commemorates the fact that they rested on the 25th, as well as the fact that that was also the basis used to set the dates on which we set Purim (as recorded in the Megilla), indicates that that it is the cessation of hostilities upon which we traditionally commemorate salvations. Is there a basis to instead follow guidelines set by secular/antireligious institutions?
    – Loewian
    Apr 21 '15 at 16:47
  • 1
    @loewian Yom Ha'atzma'ut was established as a Jewish holiday by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel in 1950-51. The Chief Rabbis at the time were R' Yitzchak HaLevi Herzog and R' Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel.
    – Isaac Moses
    Apr 21 '15 at 17:22
  • 4
    @loewian Your question is a valid one. It is invalid, however, to assume or assert that these gedolim rejected tradition and "instead follow[ed] guidelines set by secular/antireligious institutions." Incidentally, besides Chanuka, Chag HaPesach also doesn't fall on the "date of cessation of hostilities." I'm not sure what other traditional precedents you'd consider, but the case for the rule that you assert is far from ironclad based on the small set of salvation-based holidays that we currently celebrate.
    – Isaac Moses
    Apr 21 '15 at 19:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .