What is the religious meaning of the foundation of Israel in 1948? Was God's hand at work in the victory of the small Jewish yishuv, vastly outnumbered by Arab numbers? Can such spiritual meaning be affirmed even though the founders were mostly secular and even as Israel remains imperfect?
These questions are still fought over and are crystallised in the debate over whether we say Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut. There are three positions: some say Hallel with a berachah beforehand, implying that it is a mitzvah; the Talmud says we should recite Hallel when Jews are redeemed from dire straits. (Many authorities limit this to when all Israel is redeemed; the Hallel-sayers argue that the state of Israel is indeed a redemption for the whole Jewish people.) Others say Hallel without a blessing, as an expression of voluntary thanksgiving. And others do not say Hallel, either because they believe nothing of special religious significance happened on that day, or because they express their gratitude in other ways.