|This is legit. Found here.|
Come on, at one point we’re all too cool for shul. I’m uber-guily of this, big time!
I use to like being a wandering Jew. A weekday minyan nomad, traveling along in a Jack Keroauc-like way, never really staying anywhere too long. Basing my destination on convenience and ease of parking.
I was wrong. Part of my wandering was really just because I could wander. After spending almost 8 years in a one shul city (we lived in Indianapolis from 1998-2006), moving to Chicago was, well like, shul overload. Sort of like getting a shopping spree at Saint Mark’s Sounds (an excellent used cd store in NYC). I am not, Chas v’Shalom, downplaying the importance, stability, or value of the “one shul town”, but it’s refreshing to have an option (at times). Living in a city with one shul helps add a strength of community and lets you really get to know everyone, this cannot be understated (and I somewhat miss that).
So, parshas Bereishis, I found myself in the social hall/basement of Rav Moshe Weinberger’s shul, Congregation Aish Kodesh, during a moving an uplifting shalosh seudos (I’ve previous blogged about the first time I was there for the holy third meal of Shabbos here[insert link]). I listened, as I heard a message that seemed tailor made for me (if you’ve heard R Weinberger in person, you often think that he’s speaking directly to you) about the importance of making an effort to daven in “our shul”, as he said. He mentioned that he knows there are many faces that he and the shul only see on Shabbos Kodesh. Not that people are not going to minyanim during the week, but it’s seems that they tend to davening elsewhere. Rav Weinberger said that he understands that people have schedules and trains to catch, but if you can figure out a way to go a minyan that not an “18 minute shacharis”, it’s better. He also said that when you make a commitment to daven in your shul you add to the kedusha of the shul. This was a very powerful idea.
At that point, I decide, b’li neder, to stop being a wanderer. I have successfully made it to my shul in the mornings (except when I’ve had carpool responsibilities) and so far, for mincha or maariv. No more drifting upon the sea of shuls, I’m attempting to anchor myself, finally.
It can be a real problem, especially if you’re very particular about what you are looking for in a minyan.
Sometimes, the urge to daven alone the way I want to is very strong. Most of the time I can resist, but not always…