When the 6 day war started, my parents Frank and Clare,did
not know which way to turn. Apart from the obvious anguish of Israel being
at war, and the thought of the dangers over there, they realised that my
barmitzvah which had been organised for the following weekend, the 10th
and 11th June,1967, could not take place as planned. We were having a shabbat
family lunch and the next day a full-blown dinner and ball for 175 guests
with all the trimmings.
My parents and I agreed that it would not be right to celebrate with singing and dancing while Jews in Israel were dying, so we cancelled the dinner and ball and rearranged a luncheon for all of the Sunday guests, as well as the family, at the Banqueting Suite on the shabbat. Of course all of the original invitations had already been sent out and replied to, so my parents, much to British Telecom's delight, had to make 75 telephone calls to our guests and inform them of the changes.
Despite everything, the weekend went off without a hitch and I still have very fond memories of it all. An added bonus is that originally I would have been expected to open the ball with a waltz around the dancefloor - every cloud etc.
The amount of money saved by not going ahead with a dinner and ball (a not inconsiderable sum), my parents donated to the JNF to support Israel at this time of war.
The following year a collector for the JNF called at our
door, looked on his list for our previous donation, and then said to my
father quite seriously "Can I put you down for the same again this
year Frank?" My father's response is not printable!
- Steven Linden