Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Shul Days

I have nothing planned here. I'm completely making this up off the top of my head.

Brave? Stupid? Foolish? ... Let's find out.

When I was younger this time of year for was my least favorite. I have no patience and I have no Zits Fleish. If I would have been a kid nowadays I'd almost certainly be classified as ADD. So for me to sit in Shul for so long was torture. My father was a religious dictator. He never spent the time or energy to instill the love of Yiddishkeit, only the fear portion. I knew the time was holy, but at 10 years old I didn't feel strongly enough that it would keep me in shul that long.

Of course you could say most ten year olds would never be able to stay in shul from early in the morning (ok it was a Lubavitch shul so, around 9:30/10 in the morning) till 2, 3 in the afternoon. Even today it's hard for me to concentrate during davening. I get easily distracted. As an adult though I can push myself to focus, and I understand now how important this time is to really connect with Hashem.

I think the difference for me is taking it from a synagogue experience to a personal experience. As a kid I was told to respect the shul, respect that we are there to daven and respect that this is what we do, no questions asked. (and certainly none answered)

Today, I think of the shul as a place to talk to G-d. Thank him for giving me life, ask for support and strength. This time of year is now one of my favorites as an adult. To really visualize that Hashem is listening to us, and seeing him making his decisions for our life for the next year. I can always use all the help I can get to boost my spiritual connection when I'm davening. This time of the year in shul, it always gives me that boost. It inspires me to not only even more strongly thank him for all the good that happened in the year leading up to this one. But also, ask him for only good things for me and my family for the upcoming one.

Another thing I enjoy about this time of the year is that it reminds us, just as Pesach reminds us to do a physical cleaning. Tishrei reminds us to do a spiritual house cleaning. Make sure that we have a clean slate with our friends and family. Make amends for anything we have done, and any wrong or ill that we have caused to them.

At this time I would like to extend that practice to this board. I can be pretty cynical and sometimes negative. If I have offended anyone, or upset anyone that I have come in contact with over the last 7 months in this blogspehere I hope you will accept my apology and forgive me.

May Hashem answer all our tefilahs and send us all only good. May Hashem watch over us, our friends, our family and bring forth the day when we can all come together to the Beis Hamikdosh Hashlishi in Eretz Yisroel.


Jack Steiner said...

You are a good man Chaim. Don't let anyone tell you anything different.

Chaim said...

Much obliged my West Coast friend. Go check out my blog, I just posted something I think you'd really enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I am "working the door" all yontif this yontif, being the greeter, handing out name badges (Yes, we are that shul, the one with name badges -- *shudder*!) Somehow I'm relieved to have something to do besides daven. I'm rather ADD myself. There's a place for everyone, I guess.

Chaim said...

I think that's why (the ADD) I always ended up doing the children's programs/services when I was in my early 20's. (not participating but leading .. lol)