The drunken debauchery, spring of shaving cream, the bonking on heads with hammers, albeit with plastic ones, hail back more to Roman practices than to anything even remotely Jewish. (Yes, that goes for currently accepted Purim practices as well.)
When the Jewish People celebrate gaining sovereignty over the Jewish Homeland for the first time in 2,000 years, why on earth would we do so with customs from our latest occupier and oppressor,...Rome?
Al HaAish (barbecue)
Definitely based on Jewish practices, this custom of barbecuing on Independence Day is a reminder of the Qorban Pesah (may we merit to bring it at the next opportunity). What do you think a shwarmah b'laffah is? Those of us who eat thick and pliable matzoth on Pesah know. Just add some bitter herbs.
Why say Hallel on 5 b'Iyyar, and not on some other date?
Many of my Torah Zionist friends have asked me this question. According to my rav and teacher Rabbi David Bar-Hayyim, the answer is simple. This was the date that the British pulled, out thus leaving the Jewish People particularly vulnerable to annihilation by the Arabs. Just because the "state" in its current state, does not cancel the miracles HaShem made for us.
It was also the first time the Jewish People gained sovereignty over the Jewish Homeland for the first time in 2,000 years. (It does not matter whether we no longer have it or not.)
We did not cancel Hallel on Hanukkah simply because the Hashmonaim failed us in future generations by killing Jews and setting up avodah zarah, etc. Likewise, we do not cancel Hallel on Israeli Independence Day simply because the state, government, and various regimes (three completely different things) have failed us.
It doesn't matter who founded the state, and defeated our enemies.
Why not say Hallel, and celebrate on the date commemorating the end of the war?
Just open your eyes, and look around you. The war isn't yet over.
Continued from Some Thoughts On Israeli Independence Day 5769