Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Shul Options

I have ripped this following list from a large US shul to demonstrate how one (orthodox) shul offers many options for their congregants.  I have tried to protect the name of the shul.  Let me know if you notice any trends that I miss:

Shabbat Services 
Main Sanctuary 9:00AM - This service is the cornerstone of the shul.  The Rabbi’s weekly sermons address timely and timeless issues and speak to the congregants’ relationships with one another and with Hashem. Our Cantor leads the service with melodies and songs that never fail to inspire. 
Hashkama Minyan 7:45AM - This early minyan meets on Shabbat morning. With a close-knit feel, this minyan features a 15 minute shiur taught in conjunction with a hot Kiddush immediately following davening. It is an ideal service for early risers, spouses who want to help acclimate their children to Shabbat morning groups and people looking for a spirited Shabbat morning mini shiur. 
Young Leadership Minyan 9:30AM - This weekly Shabbat morning minyan is the nucleus of the Young Leadership Committee’s social and religious programming. The minyan features a sermon each week followed by a Kiddush which provides a wonderful venue for young community leaders to interact after services every week. 
Carlebach Minyan - This monthly Friday night service meets every Shabbat Mevarchim. Led by our Cantor, this minyan uses the tunes of Shlomo Carlebach to inspire us and transform our Friday night experience. 
Beginners Service 9:30AM - A Saturday morning service designed for people who know little or nothing about Jewish prayer. The Beginners Service is an anxiety free, “no Hebrew-necessary, user friendly” prayer experience that will keep you looking forward to Saturday mornings. Service is followed by Kiddush, refreshments and socializing. 
Sunday and Weekday Services 
On Sundays and legal holidays, Shacharit is held 8:30AM. On weekday mornings, Shacharit is at 7:00AM and 8:00AM. 
Minchah and Maariv follow the schedule on the calendar. 
Women’s Tehillim 7:15PM - Join us every other Monday evening as we recite the entire Book of Tehillim (Psalms) for those who need our spiritual support and for the safety and well-being of our brothers and sisters in Israel. We divide the Psalms among all members present so that we may articulate a meaningful and complete prayer as a group.

First of all I observe that there are options for early rises and late comers, old and young, beginners and advanced, and those that like to sing and those that want to get it over as soon as possible.

Next, notice that food (no surprise) is a key ingredient to the communal tefilla experience.

Finally, when is everyone together in the same room?  There is a halachik concept of ברוב עם הדרת מלך - "in the great multitude the king's glory is enhanced" - which proposes that it is better for amass more people for a religious experience.  When does this community really get together - to daven or even just to socialize?


  1. I'm so puzzled. What is the point of you not telling us what shul this is? From what are you "protecting" this shul? And why do you think they all ought to get together and that they do not do so? You can assume the contrary, that there are many opportunities for a community to unite for events.

  2. I am sure this is an overview of the basics of the shul. Perhaps if you browse the other tabs of the site you could see the many other oppertunities there are to daven AND socialize.

  3. I am not "protecting" the name of the shul in the genre that shows like Law and Order rip stories from the headlines to reflect reality without directly casting blame or glory.

    My point is that options are inherently good and calibrates the tefilla experience for each individual but that one by product is that when does everyone get together to daven and/or socialize? Friday night?