Monday, February 13, 2012

He is Risen

Back after a long hiatus - we shall see if I have the stamina...

So this Shabbos, I walked 4 miles each way through the snow and the 10 degree temps to a Reform synagogue to celebrate an old friend's child's bar mitzvah.

It is a temple where many years ago we were members. I hadn't set foot there in 13 years. it was odd to come back. All the things that were familiar to me long ago now feel very foreign.

I didn't daven there. As I understand it, there are Orthodox piskei din that one is not allowed to be inside Reform/Conservative shuls at all, but I thought that it was a reasonable compromise to attend but not daven there. It felt weird to just sit there while the rest of the temple was praying. I am sure they all thought that I was totally secular. Inside my head though it was hard not to say the prayers to myself or to hum the familiar melodies.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Nechama said...

Воистенно воскрес? Sorry, could not help it!

We experience what you are describing every time we attend a simcha at a Conservative synagogue we used to belong to. My son (the most educated one of all of us by far when it comes to davening) has a really hard time with the service there. As he gets older he tends to do what you described - daven silently, reciting by memory because that is what makes sense to him. When he was younger he just sat there with a sullen look on his face, occasionally glancing at me if a certain part of liturgy was omitted or read out of the order that he is accustomed to. Personally I treat those obligatory attendances (nephews’ Bar Mitzvahs, friend's daughter's Bat Mizvah where the young lady were a tallit with pink and purple embellishments) as educational field trips - an opportunity to explore something now foreign and have fun because a 'religious' experience it is not...not for me and my family. I feel sad that so many people find this type of observance enough…I often wish I had been raised in the Orthodox world, but alas…you know where I started out….
I did not know about the “Orthodox piskei din that one is not allowed to be inside Reform/Conservative shuls at all”, but now the following makes sense to me….We recently attended a funeral of an extended family member. This man was my husband’s Uncle’s Father in Law. The service and the minyan during the 3 day shiva (!) were led by a reform rabbi. A few Chabadniks came to the funeral, including those that are considered to be the pillars of the local Chabad community, and some even stopped at the house during the shiva. My husband’s uncle while not religious by any stretch of imagination, had felt an awakening in his soul at my son’s Bar Mitzvah at our Chabad 3 years ago and has since been supporting Chabad in general quite substantially. I noticed that none of the men or women davened with the service at the funeral or at the minyan. The women silently read the Tehillim that each had brought with her. The men did not recite anything outloud. I wondered about that…now it makes sense.

February 14, 2012 6:18 AM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

So this Shabbos, I walked 4 miles each way through the snow and the 10 degree temps

Considerable stamina right there.

February 14, 2012 1:37 PM  
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