Friday, July 22, 2011

Minyan: A love/hate relationship

On the one hand, davvenning (praying) with a minyan still drives me almost as nuts as it did when I was saying Kaddish for my mother roughly two years ago. I’ve long since given up any hope of being able to keep up with the “speed davvenners.”

On the other hand, it’s a pleasure to be able to say all the prayers that one is not permitted to say without a minyan: the Kaddishes, plus Bar’chu, and the Kedushah (though I rarely catch up in time to join in the Kedushah). It’s also nice to be able to do the Torah reading from an actual Torah scroll, rather than from a printed book (as is the minhag/custom at our local synagogue when we don’t have a minyan and, therefore, can’t read from a scroll).

And every now and then, we get to celebrate a simcha (joyous occasion) together. Recently, a young man had his first aliyah at my “kaddish minyan.” His big-shindig Bar Mitzvah celebration will take place this fall, but the rabbi wanted to make sure that his first aliyah took place when he became 13, rather than a month or two later. Simchas are always a pleasure, and there are some s’machot/simchas that one can’t celebrate without a minyan.


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