Sunday, July 18, 2010

It shouldn't be this way :(

Sitting out a study session
I don't remember when or why our rabbi stopped teaching the study session between Minchah and Maariv/Arvit (Afternoon and Evening Services) on Shabbat (Sabbath), but the task was taken up by the cantor and a congregant. Unfortunately, that particular congregant is far more interested in study than in prayer, and almost invariably shows up after Minchah (sometime during Seudah Shlishit). In protest, the rabbi has stopped attending the study session.

Yesterday, though, that congregant was not present at all on Shabbat, so the chazan (cantor) led the study session by himself. The rabbi boycotted the study session anyway. I was quite unhappy that the rabbi couldn't show a little common courtesy/derech eretz to the chazan.

"Evicted" again :(
Erev Tisha B'Av, the evening of the fast of the Ninth of Av, will be the third time in six months that some thoughtless individual in the office has rented out our sanctuary on a holiday. Previous slip-ups took place on Erev Purim and Erev Yom Rishon Shavuot (the evening of the first night of Shavuot). I'm not sure whether we'll be sitting on the floor in the office with carpeting or the office without carpeting, so I'll be wearing my jeans skirt, just in case. (We don't have a chapel/minyan room anymore--the all-purpose room that was original dedicated as a chapel and classroom has been rented out as office space.) Some of us congregants are pretty upset about the fact that the office staff seems to give a higher priority to rentals than to religious observances. It's a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. :(

Between a rock and a hard place
. . . or between a desk and a photocopier, to be precise--that's the literal position in which we find ourselves when "evicted" from our sanctuary and forced to pray in our former chapel. We can barely fit 10 chairs in there, and it's a most unpleasant place to pray, as you can imagine. I refuse to davven there anymore unless I have no choice, so my current practice, in the event of a Saturday-night rental, is to join the congregation for Minchah (held in the sanctuary) and Seudah Shlishit (held in the lobby), then leave and say Maariv at home. Unfortunately, I'll have no choice tonight, since I also refuse to walk any farther than necessary on a fast day.

May you have an easy and meaningful fast.


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