Sunday, September 23, 2012

Who is to Blame?

Please read this article by Devora Meyers Shuls Out for Rosh Hashana.

There is much to this piece, in its honest expression of a common experience for many shul goers, regardless of the style of synagogue they attend.  But while I like Meyers' question, "So what’s the difference between the intellectual discussion that excites me and the prayers that bore me to distraction?" I think her answer is meek.

Let me be clear that I think her answer is correct for her, argued well, and again I add the adjective honest; However, I am starkly reminded of Harold Kushner approach, "What's lacking in you?"

Are we now so self absorbed that we have to always have it our way and that we cannot strive for a communal forum? (do not mistake this as quest for an objective or uniform religious forum).  I get the frustration for prayer in general but for the 3-timers (those that come only three times a year: 2 for Rosh Hashana and once for Yom Kippur) can we justify the opt out?  Great, your bored, the service is long and its not your style - what else can the institutions, teachers, leaders and rabbis do to engage those that don't want what's being served in most tefillot...... It is a good question to ask for every classroom teacher - how do we help nurture not only individuals, but help those individuals share and join into a community of learners and shearers?

I want to end with a quote from Rav Kook from Ein Eyah:
In order to lead human beings on the path of continual improvement, G-d implanted within the human soul the incessant drive to always seek more..."
Here's hoping you have a positive shul experience this week.  

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