Sunday, September 12, 2004

What’s wrong with being fair, part 2: The rabbi explains what the problem is

In the spirit of Elul, I must confess that I was quite angry, and didn't show derech eretz/courtesy. I intend to ask the rabbi's forgivesness.

Rabbi: The tradition is to mention only the name of the sick person's mother's name when saying a mi-sh'berarch. Mentioning the sick person's father's name, too, is against halachah [Jewish law].
Me: The three previous rabbis didn't complain. You're approaching this from an Orthodox perspective. If I wanted to follow an Orthodox interpretation of halachah, I'd be davvening in an Orthodox shul, not here.
Rabbi: You’re making an innovation.
Me: I don’t have a problem with innovation—I don’t seen what’s wrong with that. Besides, I’m not imposing my minhag [custom] on anyone else.
Rabbi: Yes you are. When you davven the silent Amidah, that’s private prayer. But the mi-sh’berach prayer is b’tzibbur [communal]. It's the policy of this congregation that you can't make a change in the service without the permission of the Ritual Committee.

Ouch. Tune in sometime after Simchat Torah, when I’ll report on the vote of the Ritual Committee.


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