The week of Yom Haatzmaut, as I prepare a shiur on whether one should say Hallel to celebrate the founding of the State, the police are blowing up a Chefetz Chashud outside my window.
First I hear a cop speaking into an intercom telling people not to cross the police line, but that could just be the end of a Hachnasat sefer torah or a street fair, which are frequent in the neighborhood. But then I hear the sound of the police robot shooting into a chefetz chashud, blowing up a suspicious object that might be a bomb. They are unmistakable loud tight targeted shots.
I am forced to think about Rav Ovadiah’s claim that the miracle of the founding of the state is incomplete; that we can’t say Hallel on a country that still isn’t safe and secure, to the extent that there are suspicions of bombs on a quiet residential street. I think of his claim that we can’t say Hallel over a war that was so bloody and the limbo state in which we are still suffering casualties.
But then I see, in the lamplight, the silhouette of the policeman in his bulky ephod, proud as a Cohen Gadol, saunter down the street. He takes off his helmet and tells the people on the sidewalk they are free to walk down the street. There is something in his swagger, in his pride to sound the all clear to the neighborhood children, that reassures me. With all its dangers and shortcomings, this is our country and we take care of each other here, and that is reason enough for me to say Hallel.