I admit that 'going to shul' for me always meant dressing up and going to see people. This was certainly more appealing when shul ended at 11:30 instead of 10am. But frankly, it's not just shul that is boring... it's davening. And I think it is definitely a personality thing.I think Levy raises some good points about the difficulty balance it is for moderns to find a communal role as well as religious balance, but I think the greater dissatisfaction with davening is symptomatic of a greater problem plaguing Jewish life today.
- My children can’t sit and there is no place for them to play – While some shuls (primarily outside of Israel) offer activities for children during davening, these activities don’t usually occupy the smallest children. In Israeli shuls it is common to find kids playing in a nearby park while their parents daven, but this is a solution which works only for older children who can play unsupervised.
- It ends too early – This is a complaint in Israeli shuls, which generally start at 8 AM or 8:30 and finish around 10 AM. Since Israelis have no other day to sleep late in the morning, many moms find that by the time they have had a little lie-in and are ready to go out, the congregation is already filing out and getting ready to go home.
- The women’s section is too loud and distracting for proper prayer – Between the women talking to each other and the young children making noise, it is hard to concentrate on davening in shul. Davening at home offers a distraction-free environment for serious prayer.
- Tradition – Many women have been brought up to consider davening at shul a men’s activity. Their mothers and grandmothers did not go to shul, so they don’t feel the need to either. After all, the halachic obligation to pray in a minyan applies only to men.
- It’s too long/boring – Not everyone succeeds in connecting to God through structured communal prayer.