Tehillim at the Tax Office

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Israel Tax Authority isn’t known as a particularly religious place — though people facing audits have been known to utter a silent prayer or two — but in this eis tzarah every place and every time is a fitting one to turn to Hashem for help.

David Bruce, an accountant who lives in the Har Nof neighborhood of Yerushalayim, was at the Income Tax office on Kanfei Nesharim Street Tuesday taking care of his client’s needs.

He’s been going to the office for years, and knows the staffers well. The mood was more somber than usual because of the security situation.

Suddenly, at around noon, he witnessed something that left him stunned and deeply moved.

“I was sitting with a clerk and suddenly another clerk walks in with a thick pile of sheets with passages of Tehillim and starts distributing them to everyone, staffers and visitors, religious and secular,” he recounts. “She said, ‘There are reports of fierce fighting in Gaza,’ and everything stopped. Everyone picked up the sheets. There was silence in the room.

“She went from office to office doing this, and everyone took the sheets. It was unbelievable.”

This isn’t just happening at the Tax Authority. The Central Bus Station in Yerushalayim is the scene of many people standing off to the side saying Tehillim.

“You see people on the stairwell when you’re going up to the floor of the bus platforms,” says Miriam Rebibo, who was there to catch a bus to Haifa. “People are connected to the news, and receive updated reports on what’s going on in Gaza. As soon as they hear of tough battles they stop and say Tehillim. You see it everywhere, from everyone.”