Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Tortoise and the Hare go to minyan

I think the reason why my husband gets more upset than I do when we're 5-10 minutes late for a weekday morning minyan is that, since he's a faster Hebrew reader than I am, he can finish all of P'sukei D'Zimrah if we get there on time, whereas I could never recite all of P'sukei D'Zimrah, even if we got there 5-10 minutes early!

To compensate for my slow Hebrew, I do a lot of praying before I ever get to minyan. I recite the Birkot HaTorah (Torah blessings), Birkot HaShachar (Morning Blessings), and Rabbi Yishmael at home, plus Psalm 30 (Mizmor, Shir Chanukat HaBayit , L'David), Baruch ShehAmar, Ashrei (Psalm 145), and Yishtabach on the subway, adding another psalm or two if I have time. Since I've already prayed the "minimum requirement" for the early part of the service before I get there, I can live with walking in at the beginning of the congregation's recital of Ashrei because that gives me just enough time to put on my tallit and lay tefillin before Bar'chu.

My husband, on the other hand, prays the whole service during the service, not before or after. (I do a ton of minyan-not-required davvening/praying on the subway-ride home, too.) So, naturally, if we get there late, he feels deprived of his prayer opportunity.

He's right, of course. I really should make more of an effort to get to minyan on time.

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