Shaving on Zionist holidays in the omer

Question: Are you allowed to shave, get a haircut, or hear music on Yom HaAtzma’ut and Yom Yerushalayim or is it prohibited like the rest of the Omer period?

Just as an individual who has a personal celebration (e.g. the sandak, mohel and father at a circumcision ceremony) during the Omer period, is allowed to do all of the above, how much more so is it allowed on a national celebration like Israeli Independence Day or Yom Yerushalayim, which were proclaimed by the Chief Rabbinate as national holidays after the War of Independence and the Six Day War. There is an interesting precedent in Mo’ed L’Chol Chai (p. 37), where R. Chaim Fallaggi, a leading posek from Turkey, allowed the Jews of Angora to shave annually on the 11th of Iyar, even for a local holiday commemorating salvation from danger, despite the Omer period. The reason is because the aforementioned customs of mourning are not even mentioned in the Talmud, and accordingly aren’t so severe and are easily superseded by the rabbis and allowed when there is a legitimate mitzvah, especially a national reason to celebrate.

Rabbi Ari Shvat

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