Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You almost forgot WHAT?! On the hazards of davvening solo

Ashkenazim are nuts!

I should know. I’m 100% Ashkenazi myself, to the best of my knowledge.

We nutty Ashkenazim don’t eat kitniyot during Pesach/Passover. Sefardim do.

Unlike Sefardim, we Ashkenzim are also crazy enough to wear tefillin on Rosh Chodesh and Festivals.

Which means that we have to remember to remove our tefillin before Musaf, the Additional Service for Sabbaths, Festivals, and Rosh Chodesh.

I was so busy concentrating on remembering to remove my tefillin at the right time that, if I hadn’t been reading the “instructions” in the ArtScroll Siddur (prayer book) carefully, I would have forgotten to recite Hallel!

And I love Hallel!

Our local synagogue has weekday morning services only on Sundays (to accommodate the late sleepers, but Sunday is my only day to sleep in) and on the Torah-reading days, Mondays and Thursdays. So, today, I was in the same boat as many Orthodox women who davven (pray) alone almost all the time: I had no one else from whom to get a clue. I’ve encountered this phenomenon before—one of my Orthodox co-workers, a single woman, has accidentally forgotten Rosh Chodesh twice in the last six months. Think about it—if you don’t go to synagogue, don’t live with Mom and Dad anymore, and don’t have a husband, who’s going to remind you?


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