"The kingdom of this world,
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ:
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever."
Standing at this climax has been a tradition since George II. Every musical impulse, every feeling of homage, suggested that I get to my feet. But this is Jerusalem, Israel, right? This is what we've been waiting for. Jews don't kneel (or so Menachem Begin said), and they don't stand for messianic preemptions. Anyway, it is simple courtesy. There are over a thousand people here in the hall. Why spoil the moment by calling attention to myself? If others don't stand and I do, I will be blocking somebody's view, right?
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a man a few rows in front and well to the right, getting up. What was more, he was wearing a knitted yarmulke, you know, the usual sign of halakhic orthodoxy tinged with Zionist celebration. As the chorus gained power, and he noticed he was blocking others, he smoothly slipped out to the aisle and stood there quietly, his gaze forward, a rapt smile on his face. He must be from England, I told myself: standing was a little manifest demonstration of home sickness.
Here is the chorus. You may stand if you wish.