The Legislative Law Committee on Sunday Rosh Chodesh Kislev debated a bill initiated by MK (The Movement) Amram Mitzne. The Independence Day Bill calls for observing Israel’s holiday on the same day every year, the Thursday before 5 Iyar. Mitzne hopes to push the bill through to prevent moving observance of the day to another day for example, which is often done to prevent chilul Shabbos. Mitzne however feels by observing Independence Day on a Thursday will provide Israelis with a long holiday weekend, which is what most people would prefer.
Hours before the committee was scheduled to meet Tzohar Rabbonim released a statement objecting to the bill. The organization explains that tradition demands observing the day on 5 Iyar and not a set day on the Gregorian calendar since 5 Iyar “is the day that compels us to rejoice and recite Hallel and that day should not be changed unless there are special circumstances such as to prevent chilul Shabbos”.
Tzohar rabbonim also fear that if observance is no longer tied to the actual Jewish day of the calendar then “An element of the kedusha of the day would be lost”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)