The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, March 25, 2007

My Shul

Tonight was our shul's annual melaveh malkah and it got me thinking.

Over the years, I have used this space to poke fun at my shul from time to time. It's such an easy target. The shul is populated by an eclectic group of people, ranging from wearers of kippot serugot to wearers of Chassidishe Levush and everything in between. Like every shul, it's got its share of do-nothings and hangers-on, and more than its share of weirdos.

But, the truth is, with all its weirdos, it's still a very special place and I could never imagine davening anywhere else. The davening on Friday night alone is worth the price of membership. I have never davened in a place that brings in Shabbos like we do.

But the Friday night davening alone is not what makes the shul special. Nor is the fact that people don't talk during davening. While that is remarkable (especially since we've been able to maintain the decorum even as we've grown to a shul of over 450 mispallilim on Shabbos), it isn't it. The thing that sets it apart, I think, is that the shul (because of the leadership of its Rebbe) attracts people who are mivakshei Hashem, seekers of Hashem. They take their relationship to Hashem seriously. They think about it.

Some do it through davening, others through learning, others through Chassidus, but the common thread is that most of the people in the shul are not satisfied with their status quo and are looking for more, in terms of ruchnius, for themselves and their families. In a sense, it is a shul of ba'alei teshuvah, most of whom have been frum from birth.

This doesn't mean I love everyone in the shul or that it's a shul of only tzaddikim. Believe me, I don't and it isn't. But even most of the people who drive me crazy and who, I think, are seriously flawed, still seem to be striving for something more in their relationship with The Master of the Universe. And that's not a small thing.



  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger tnspr569 said…

    Sounds like a special place. I'd love to experience it sometime.


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