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☞   Yom ha-Atsma’ut (5 Iyyar)

This is an archive of prayers composed for, or relevant to, Yom ha-Atsma’ut, celebrating the State of Israel’s national day of Independence. The day is recognized on the 5th of Iyyar but it may be commemorated one or two days before or after the 5th of Iyar on years when it falls adjacent to Shabbat.

If you have composed a prayer or prayer-poem for Yom ha-Atsma’ut, please share it here.


Looking for something else?

For public readings selected for Yom ha-Atsma’ut, go here.

For prayers offered for the well-being of the State of Israel, please visit here.

הַתִּקְוָה | Hatiḳvah (the Hope), by Naphtali Herz Imber (1878)

The poem, Hatikvah, in its original composition by Naphtali Herz Imber, later chosen and adapted to become the national anthem of the State of Israel. . . .

בִּרְכַּת עָם (תֶחֱזַקְנָה)‏ | The People’s Blessing (a/k/a Teḥezaqnah), by Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik (1894)

Before HaTikvah was chosen, Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik’s “People’s Blessing” (בִּרְכַּת עָם, also known by its incipit תֶחֱזַֽקְנָה Teḥezaqnah) was once considered for the State of Israel’s national anthem. Bialik was 21 years old when he composed the work in 1894. It later was chosen as the anthem of the Labor Zionist movement. We hereby present the first ever complete English translation of this poem. . . .

שיר האמונה | Song of Faith, by Rabbi Avraham Yitsḥaq haKohen Ḳooḳ (ca. 1919)

A religious Zionist national anthem composed by Rav Kook in response to the secular Zionist Hatikvah. . . .

על הניסים ליום העצמאות | Al haNissim for Yom ha-Atsma’ut, by Dr. Avi Shmidman and Rabbi Ben-Tzion Spitz (2009)

An al-hanissim prayer for Yom ha-Atsma’ut. . . .

עַל הַנִּסִּים בִּימֵי הוֹדָיָה לְאֻמִּיִּים | Al haNissim prayer on Civic Days of Patriotic Gratitude, by Aharon Varady

Opportunities to express gratitude on civic days of patriotic thanksgiving demand acknowledgement of an almost unfathomably deep history of trauma — not only the suffering and striving of my immigrant ancestors, but the sacrifice of all those who endured suffering dealt by their struggle to survive, and often failure to survive, the oppressions dealt by colonization, conquest, hegemony, natural disaster. Only the Earth (from which we, earthlings were born, Bnei Adam from Adamah) has witnessed the constancy of the violent deprivations we inflict upon each other. The privilege I’ve inherited from these sacrifices has come at a cost, and it must be honestly acknowledged, especially on civic days of thanksgiving, independence, and freedom. I insert this prayer after Al Hanissim in the Amidah and in the Birkat Hamazon on national days of independence and thanksgiving. . . .

על הניסים ליום העצמאות | Al haNissim for Yom ha-Atsma’ut, by Amos Ḥakham (2012)

An al hanissim formulation for Yom Ha-Atsma’ut by the scholar Amos Hakham. . . .

על הניסים ליום העצמאות | Al haNissim on the State of Israel’s Independence Day, by Josh Weinberg

An al haNissim prayer for Yom ha-Atsma’ut. . . .

על הניסים ביום העצמאות | Al haNissim on Yom ha-Atsma’ut, by Rabbi Yehoyada Amir

An al hanissim prayer for the State of Israel’s Day of Independence. . . .

על הניסים ליום העצמאות | Al Hanissim for Yom ha-Atsma’ut: Theological & Liturgical Reflections, by Yehonatan Chipman (2003)

Every year on Yom ha-Atzmaut I feel a certain sense of frustration about its liturgy, and the failure of Religious Zionism to shape the holiday into one that would make a clear and definite religious statement. The “festive” prayer for Yom ha-Atzmaut is a hotchpotch of Yom Kippur, Kabbalat Shabbat, Shabbat Mevarkhim, and Pesaḥ. One gets a sense that there is an avoidance of hard issues. Even such a simple thing as saying Hallel with a blessing is not yet self-evident, but a subject of constant debate. Every year, there seem to be more leading rabbis, who adopt crypto-Ḥaredi stances, issuing pronunciamentos as to why one must not enter into the doubt of saying a brakha levatala, an unnecessary blessing, in this case. (As I was typing these words, I was interrupted by a phone call from a friend with this very question!) Bimhila mikvodam (no affront to the honor due them intended), but what on earth do they think the Talmud is talking about when it says that “On every occasion that Israel are in distress and then delivered, they are to recite the Hallel” (Pesaḥim 116a), if not the likes of Yom ha-Atzmaut? . . .