A Cause For Celebration
I was sad to witness an altercation in shul at mincha on Shabbos.
The shul is in the home of a Religious Zionist person and the shaliach tzibbur was likewise dati-leumi. After he finished chazaras ha-shatz, he omitted saying tzidkascha. This was in line with the principle that one does not say tzidkascha on a day when tachanun is not said, and tachanun is not said on the eve of a festive day. And Sunday, being Yom Yerushalayim, is a festive day.
One person in shul started saying tzidkascha very loudly, gesturing to the shaliach tzibbur that he should say it. This person also waved a luach, and announced that the luach doesn't say anything about omitting tzidkascha. (Of course, since the luach was a charedi publication, that was hardly surprising.)
This was most upsetting. Regardless of one's persuasion, one should follow the custom of the shul where one is praying. And it's a pity that he couldn't understand the cause for celebration on Yom Yerushalayim. I was recently re-reading the late Yehudah Avner's wonderful book The Prime Ministers. He describes the bleak scenario that Israel faced, forty-eight years ago:
The Syrian water diversion stratagem continued to menace Israel like a floating mine, and by the late spring of 1967, the situation had deteriorated so drastically that war correspondents began descending on Israel in droves. With mounting audacity, provocation followed provocation as Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser made common cause with Syria, moving his vast army and air force into the Sinai, ousting the United Nations peacekeeping forces, blockading Israeli's Red Sea port Eilat by closing the narrow Straits of Tiran, and signing a war pact with King Hussein that put the Jordanian Army under Egyptian command....
I traveled by bus to Tel Aviv to keep an appointment with another clutch of journalists...
As I drew near the hotel, I caught sight of a hearse pulling up at the gateway of a small park overlooking the beach. Out of it tumbled half a dozen black-caftaned, pie-hatted, bearded members of the chevra kadisha... Immediately, two of the undertakers began pacing the park's grassy area, calling out distances to a third, who wrote down the measurements in a notebook.... A sudden shock of black premonition shot through me. Anxiously, I asked him what it was they were doing, and he coolly replied that his Jerusalem chevra kadisha had been instructed to help the Tel Aviv chevra kadisha consecrate city parks for cemeteries. Rabbis all over the country were consecrating parks for cemeteries. He himself had seen a warehouse stockpiled with tons of nylon rolls for wrapping bodies.
Baruch Hashem for Israel's amazing success in 1967! If only people were more aware and appreciative of this miracle!