Rabbi Slifkin writes as follows:
As I mentioned above, though, all this only explains one very minor aspect of those who do not celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut. The main reason, especially today, has very little to do with halachic or religious positions, and a lot more to do with sociological factors… the notion of being a fully participating citizen of the State of Israel, and the very idea of incorporating a new entity (The State of Israel) into one's religious worldview, is entirely at odds with the isolationism and traditionalism of charedi society. They'd be uncomfortable with it even if the Ribbono Shel Olam Himself were to say that it's kosher.
In my opinion, this view is absurd. Within the context of the past several posts, I would like to advance a far more plausible explanation for the Charedi opposition to Yom HaAtzmaut.
On May 14, 1948, the Jewish People's Council declared the establishment of the State of Israel. After a brief description of the Jewish Nation’s historical connection to Eretz Yisrael and the recent en-masse immigration of European Jewry, the Declaration states as follows:
In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish State, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.
This sentence speaks volumes about the nature of the State of Israel. Yom HaAtzmaut marks the creation of a secular state presided over by a secular government. The Declaration discusses the cultural, political and national interests of the State but nowhere is God mentioned, much less the Torah. In fact, the Declaration states that the State “will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture”.
The Charedi attitude to Yom HaAtzmaut is simple to understand. Yom HaAtzmaut is a secular holiday celebrating secular ideals. Was the founding of the State miraculous? Sure. Are we grateful to the men and women who fought for its establishment? Of course. But for frum Jews to respond to these miracles by standing hand in hand with their estranged brethren while they celebrate the formation of a secularist Sate is entirely inappropriate, regardless of their personal reasons for celebrating.
Religious Zionists choose to celebrate YH because they attach religious significance to the State of Israel. They understand it as part of the ultimate redemption. But so do the secularists. The final chapter of the Declaration reads as follows:
WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream - the redemption of
Unfortunately, the “age-old dream” of the Zionist establishment is diametrically opposed to that of the Charedim, and in fact, to that of the Religious Zionists too. Charedim are surely grateful to Hashem for returning the nation to its ancient land but celebrating YH is no way to thank Him. Charedim are acutely aware of the fact that the Jewish Nation is still in galus regardless of where we reside. Downtown Tel Aviv is no different than downtown
Chicago. Unfortunately, it is not yet time to