Member of Knesset Zevulun Orlev, a candidate for the chairmanship of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home-New National Religious Party), sent a letter, Sunday, to rabbis of the religious Zionist movement, asking for their opinion, under halakha (Jewish law), of a bill, endorsed by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, to observe Independence Day on the Thursday of the week in which the 5th of Iyar occurs. In his letter, Orlev noted, "It is understood that this proposal has halachic implications regarding liturgy and breaking customs of mourning of the Omer period on Independence Day that is not on the original date and is not delayed by Shabbat or fear of Shabbat desecration. Independence Day is not just a secular holiday but has also been fixed as a holiday with meaning in Jewish law."
The letter also says, "In order to consolidate our position as a national religious movement I would very much like the response of the important religious Zionist rabbis as well as Israel's chief rabbis, Chief Rabbinate Council members and municipal rabbis." It concluded with a sense of urgency, given the possibility of the measure receiving its first reading in the Knesset on Wednesday.