March 2016 – The Minyan Family
One of Jewish tradition’s inventions of sheer genius is the Minyan, the idea that the prayers change when we recite them with a congregation and that we change when we pray in the presence of others. At the heart of our synagogue is the Daily Minyan.
The prayer book teaches: “Prayer cannot bring water to parched fields, nor mend a broken bridge, nor rebuild a ruined city; but prayer can water an arid soul, mend a broken heart, and rebuild a weakened will.”
For those who attend our Daily Minyan frequently, nothing could be truer. Ask any of the number of people who regularly attend the Minyan and they will tell you how meaningful and comforting the Minyan has been to them. Some people attend every day, some several times a week, while others attend once a week or during the period of mourning.
It is a moving experience to witness the community of caring and sensitivity that exists in our Minyan. In times of illness and stress, in times of need and loss, those who attend the Minyan offer each other comfort and strength. In times celebration, they share in the joy of simchas.
The Minyan meets Sunday through Friday, morning and evening and Saturday evening. Following the morning services there is a wonderful breakfast. Over the years, Minyan attendees have expressed their feelings about the Minyan to us. We want to share some of their thoughts:
“I am constantly amazed by the kindness of the Minyan and the opportunity not to be isolated in times of loss.”
“I have made many new and cherished friends here and found a camaraderie that has enabled me not only to get through a most difficult time of life – but has led me to rededicate myself to the tradition and way of life my father handed down to me.”
“Becoming a “Minyanaire” regular has been a very satisfying experience for me. Many more members of Temple Beth El should enjoy its benefits.”
“The camaraderie of the Daily Minyan group is as warm and comforting now for the death of my mother as it was in 2013 when I recited the Kaddish for my dear father.”
“I will be finished with Kaddish soon and wish to comment on the friendliness and warmth of the people who attend the daily services. This was a comfort to me in my time of sorrow.”
“Last year our Dad died. We walked into the Daily Minyan with a very important piece of our life missing. Within the months that my sister and I said Kaddish, I found we were the recipients of love and warmth from our special Temple Beth El of Minyanaires.”
“We just had our first baby. I was drawn to the Minyan. I found a way to express my joy and overwhelming feelings of gratitude.”
All of us are deeply grateful to those who have shared with us their thoughts about the Minyan. Their commitment to attending the Daily Minyan is an inspiration. If you have not attended the Daily Minyan in the past or have been away from the warmth and love of the Minyan, we recommend that you allow yourself the privilege of prayer with your extended family and become part of the community of healing and healers that is the Daily Minyan. We are here for you and we need your participation!
Rabbi Leonardo Bitran