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

Friday, April 22, 2005

Vasikin Rocks

A couple of guys at the Young Israel of Woodmere got together last year and decided to organize a vasikin minyan. At a vasikin minyan, everything is timed so that the kehilah begins the shemonah esrai just at the moment of sunrise.

I have always loved davening vasikin at the Kotel when I am in Israel because the quiet that overtakes all of the different minyanim at the same precise moment is something special.

Until last week, I never davened vasikin outside Jerusalem. On Rosh Chodesh Nissan, a Sunday a few weeks ago, I tried the minyan because it was the earliest minyan in town and would allow me to get on the road with my bike at the earliest possible time. (If not for the vasikin minyan, because I have to say kaddish, I would have no hope of being able to ride some of the century rides that I need to do this summer. Most of them start very early in the morning).

Well, it turns out that I loved the minyan because it was conducted at a slow, but not too slow, pace, and there was absolutely no talking.

I went back last Sunday and, as the only chiyuv, was actually able to lead the davening. This, too, was a strange experience. Everything is timed with a stopwatch so that you get to shemonah esrai exactly at the appointed time. The siddur is marked in numerous places to ensure that you are on time. Very cool.

Wanting to get an early start today, erev Erev Pesach, I davened there again and was able to lead the davening again. I realy love the minyan. It's a great addition to the community. If I didn't have a regular 6 a.m. shiur, I would daven there more often.

Vasikin rocks.


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