Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Should One Say Hallel on Yom Yerushalyim?


by Rav Binyamin Zev Kahane

Translated by Lenny Goldberg

The Shulchan Aruch in chapter 697 brings down the halacha that if a miracle occurs, even for a specific individual only, he must make a celebration every year on the date that the miracle occurred, saying "Hallel" and praising G-d. From here stems the practice of saying the "Hallel" prayer on the anniversary of the Six-Day War victory, when all the Arab nations ganged up as one against Israel with the intention to obliterate the Jewish State. During those times there was no doubt in any rationally thinking person's mind that it was only a matter of days before Israel went under. By any normal standards of logic, there was no way that the Arab nations wouldn't be rolling into Tel-Aviv in a very short period of time to carry out their plans of slaughtering all the Jews.

But it did not happen. Within six days, we pushed back those very same armies (and if we only wanted to, we could have conquered their capitals), recapturing after 2,000 years the cities of Schem, Hebron, Jericho, and Gaza, as well as the Sinai (remember?), the Golan Heights, and most important of all - Jerusalem! During those days, only the blind could not sense G-d's Divine Presence and the Messiah knocking on the door, crying, pleading, and perhaps even threatening, "Return to me, and bring the Complete Redemption". After such an introduction, it would appear incomprehensible why so many Jews from various circles do not say "Hallel" on this day, and others are in great doubt regarding this matter.

And our answer to these people is: Just one "Hallel" should be said?! A thousand Hallels need to be said!! Hallel on the saving of Tel-Aviv, Hallel for Haifa, Hallel for the South and Hallel for the North; Hallel for the redeeming of Shchem, Hallel for the conquering of Jericho, and another Hallel for the stupidity of that dwarf king across the Jordan for entering the war despite the desperate pleas by the Israeli Government that he stay out - thereby granting us the opportunity for conquering Jerusalem and the rest of the territories.

But what do we do when despite these victories, we find ourselves floundering in this miserable reality of an Israeli government who do everything in their power to do away with the glorious miracles of 1967? How can we celebrate when they are ready to turn over to our enemies all the territories we gained? It is our obligation to honestly ask ourselves: Why say "Hallel" when the territory we conquered in 1967 are dissolving away, and we are about to return to a situation a lot worse than it was before the 1967 War?

Our answer to this question is the following: For the miracles that G-d granted us, we must thank Him no matter what, in the same way that we thank him for the miracles He performed for us in the days of the Macabees against the Greeks 2,500 years ago, despite the fact that the Temple was eventually destroyed. And we still thank Him for taking us out of Egypt despite the fact that we messed up pretty bad since then. But, But, But; if we want to be honest with ourselves, it is our obligation to combine our "Hallel" prayer with an all out war against all those who aspire to cast away the miracle we are saying "Hallel" for. We must act with great self - sacrifice against all those who are quite comfortable without G-d and without His miracles, and whose entire purpose in life is to rub elbows with the enemy and decide with them how to sell out the Jewish State.

On the other hand, all those who are not ready to gird their loins in the war against those who want to do away with the miracles and the country - for what are they thanking G-d? For the miracles that are about to be thrown away, which they do nothing to prevent?

Like anything else, the sincerity of our prayers can only be measured by how much we are willing to do to back our prayers up. Let us pay attention to these words.

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