Please read the following testimonials about our weekday services, submitted by attendees, explaining why attending minyan is important to them or describing a noteworthy experience that occurred at a minyan they attended.
Every time you go to minyan, you are giving others the gift of your time. It is a very special act of caring, precisely because your time is valuable. I like to really imagine that. I am a scribe; if I were at home instead of at the synagogue, I would be writing out the Torah. It makes me happy to picture those verses I would have written as a gift for everyone there. A Shabbat minyanaire I know loves to read mystery novels, and she’s a fast reader, too. So when I see her I imagine probably a hundred pages of some spooky, cozy mystery, gifted to the rest of us. A morning with the newspaper, an extra cup of coffee, all our acts of effort and attention – these are in the air at a minyan, given freely, supporting us, beautifying our time together.
When it is difficult to come, I hope you are inspired to consider how that enriches your participation in minyan. Every time you make it out, you are adding something crucial to our mutual web of support.
And you are also investing your own future. Because all of us will need a minyan someday. When we do, will we find a solid network of familiar faces, used to nourishing one another? Or will we be brought face to face with the consequences of interpersonal neglect? Ḥalila, we may realize that we did not show up for others, and now they are no longer able to show up for us.
I hope none of us think that if that happens, we will always be able to depend on some other minyan, which only exports the cycle of taking without giving. We must become used to kindness and generosity: exerting ourselves to support one another. We must become used to patience: persisting in our care even if it doesn’t show instant results. Only long-term thinking, long-term habits, long-term love will get us out of our current state.
Whether we achieve a minyan right away or not, I always feel something amazing at ICCJ. In the stained glass windows, the days of creation shine for us, arranged all around like a spread of mystical cards, showing what is and will be. The hands of the kohen carved in wood on the bimah are permanently flexed in blessing. But nothing compares to the faces of the Jews praying alongside me. I am always honored to receive the gifts of their time, and it is an honor too to give in return, in that quiet, unobtrusive atmosphere of weekday tefilah.
by Ḥisda L-Y, April 16, 2023 (aged 9.8)