Monday, June 2, 2008

Ezras Torah Luach, Yom Yerushalayim, and Centrist Orthodoxy

It is fascinating that, 41 years after the liberation and reunification of Jersualem, and 60 years after the creation of the State of Israel, the Ezras Torah luach still does not list either day. It lists Yom Kippur Koton. It lists Pesach Sheini. It lists Taanis B’hab. But Jews need to e-mail each other to determine and confirm the days for Yom Ha’Atzma’ut and Yom Yerushalayim. Yes, the days float because of Shabbat concerns and the desire to avoid public celebrations that can threaten her sanctity. Well, the Ezras Torah calendar advises when the Fast of Tisha B’Av floats into Motz’ei Shabbat or when Bedikat Chametz and Biur Chametz floats because of Shabbat. But, to get the date of Yom Ha’Atzma’ut or Yom Yerushalayim, there is no point looking in the Ezras Torah luach. It ain’t listed. Period.

This meaningfully points to why the Center Ground of Torah-Observant Judaism is a most precious, yet most demanding, theological ground to stand and hold. There is nothing sacrosanct about being tugged excessively to the Right either.

It is understandable that, for one halakhic reason or another, one or another hashkafah-group may choose to daven on Yom Ha’Atzma’ut or Yom Yerushalayim as though it were a regular day in the calendar. Fine. But not to even note the day’s existence in the definitive halakhic calendar of the year, used by Shuls and Gabbaim throughout the world? Not to even note that it exists?

No, there is nothing sacrosanct about being tugged excessively to the Right either.

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