Monday, May 09, 2011

Yom HaAtzmaut:Technology influences observance

Rabbi Gil Student has something interesting to say about how instantaneous communication has influenced the choice of the day on which Israel Independence Day is observed.

"Initially, R. Levine followed R. Soloveichik’s ruling on this subject and instructed his congregants to always recite Hallel on the fifth of Iyar. However, the internet forced him to change his position. If I understand correctly from our brief conversation, R. Levine’s reasoning was that, in the past, Yom Ha-Atzma’ut celebrations were local, taking place in synagogues and schools with perhaps some articles in the Jewish newspaper. It was easy for a community to determine its own date to celebrate.

III. The Global Village

Today, however, advances in communications have turned celebrating a holiday into a global event. We not only receive e-mails and newsletters from around the world, announcing when and how others will celebrate the day. We see and hear live feeds from other communities. We join their festivities! We no longer celebrate locally and, therefore, a synagogue cannot determine its own date for the holiday but must observe the international date. Therefore, in recent years R. Levine had his synagogue follow the official Israeli date for Yom Ha-Atzma’ut."


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>