153 White Meadow Road | Rockaway, New Jersey 07866 | 973-627-4500 | email@example.com | Calendar and Candlelighting Schedule
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Rabbi Charlie's Mahashavoth
Tevet / Sh'vat 5778
Our board boldly voted in December to restore our weekday evening minyanim. Beginning Tuesday, January 2nd, White Meadow Temple will be conducting an evening minyan Sunday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m. It is a remarkable decision on a number of counts.
It demonstrates a profound understanding and sensitivity of our members’ pastoral needs. We are justifiably proud of how we support a family during shiva, and when someone requests a minyan for yahrzeit we can easily have over twenty people. However, for those who are reciting kaddish for sheloshim, or the year of mourning, there is generally no recourse but to find another minyan. Understandably people are much more comfortable dahvening in their own schul. A daily minyan is a source of strength and comfort.
It demonstrates a profound understanding of one of the central roles of a synagogue. A synagogue is known as a Beit Kenesseth, a house of gathering, a Beit Midrash, a house of study, and a Beit Tephillah, a house of prayer. Our prayer experiences do not exist solely for reciting kaddish, however important that may be. Prayer exists for personal meditation and reflection, for bringing community together to express shared ideas and values, for individual and communal celebration, and yes, for comfort and security.Not to mention that Jews are, in fact, commanded to dahvin each day! A daily minyan enables a synagogue to fulfill its mission.
It demonstrates a profound belief in the vitality of White Meadow Temple. As synagogues cut down on their minyanim, they are recognizing the challenges they face: dwindling membership, dwindling commitment to Jewish religious life. But it also leaves synagogues feeling less “vital,” the energy of these synagogue is sapped. But reinstating a daily minyan makes the decision that the synagogue is more than mere numbers, and though small, it is not diminished. There is confidence in the energy of our membership. A daily minyan allows a congregation to unleash its energy and project it to the community.
Now it will be the responsibility of each of us, as members of White Meadow Temple, to fulfill this bold and courageous vision. We have struggled in the past, and that caused us to discontinue our evening minyan. The problem, however, was not that people didn’t come every night; it was that they don’t come any night. We can change that now. Each of us must take on the obligation of attending when possible. Even with a small congregation, we easily have enough for a regular minyan.
In restoring our daily minyan, we will provide comfort and strength to our members, and to visitors, we will deepen the spiritual life and experience of our congregation and demonstrate the vitality and confidence of White Meadow Temple.
Rabbi Charlie Popky