No, DB, this is not about the
president. It's about being president of a shul. My shul in particular. On Yom Kippur.
Let me start with a story. Maisah she'hayah
Since we moved to our new building 5 years ago, our Rav has been giving a shiur on inyanei teshuva
on motsai Shabbos Shuva rather than the traditional Shabbos Shuva drasha. (We started doing this because we were no longer welcome at the gym where we had been doing it for many years. And, since we typically drew 600 to 800 people and the main sanctuary could only hold 450, the new building on Shabbos afternoon simply didn't work. Instead, we import AV equipment and pipe the drasha into our beis medrash and basement. In total, we had over 800 people in the building this year).
In any event, before the Rav's drasha, our current president made a few announcements. Apparently the sound quality was not up to expectations of one of our members who remarked, "you should invest in a better sound system." This same member, who drives a fancy car and lives in a fancy house, days earlier had pledged the sum total of $100 to the Kol Nidre appeal after a seven minute conversation with the self same president.
And then there are the members who go directly to the Rav to complain about their seating assignments or the fact that they didn't get maftir Yonah
even though they pledged $18 (or nothing) to the KN appeal and don't so much as lift a finger on behalf of the shul.
Last year someone actually got into a heated argument with the president during the break between Musaf and Mincha on Yom Kippur
The president is ultimately responsible for seating over 750 people in two minyanim. Of handing out scores of kibbudim
in two minyanim. Even though there is a seating committee chairman and there are gabbaim, the close calls all go back to the president. Talk about thankless jobs.
Last night as we finished Ne'ilah and the ba'al tefilah and Rav were dancing on the bimah, I saw a look on the face of our president that I have seen before. On myself. I did this gig for six years. It is a combination of exhaustion, relief and resignation. Sort of, "what was this all about?".
On one hand, you know that you played a major role in something very unique and special (even if few people recognize it). On the other, you harbor feelings of bitterness and resentment for all the smallness you've seen and don't like that you feel this way. You are also very glad that it is over, and not because you are hungry.
I am very glad that I served my time. I am even happier that I'm done.
Labels: Random Thoughts