Friday, August 20, 2010

Kiruv Unfulfilled

Most Friday mornings I arise at 5:30, a little earlier than I need to, to make dinner for shabbat.  This is more important during standard time than daylight savings time, and probably not urgent at all in the summer when my wife's seniority permits her to take each Friday as vacation, but it is something I've gotten used to doing.  Most of the dinners are simple, most often chicken breasts or parts seasoned, then seared in skillet and finished in the oven, with boxed couscous and salad or vegetable.  Sometimes like today, it's a crock pot stew that serves as cholent for dfina for later.

Shabbat dinner may be the best opportunity for kiruv, but we hardly ever invite anybody and do not get invited any more than we extend invitations.  As an Ovel, I need to get to shul for Kaddish after supper, though technically it should be before.  I happen to be fond of the reform service Friday night which enables my usual eating times and has a better conveyance of Kedusha than AKSE where the onset of shabbos is more akin to checking the boxes that the assigned prayers were completed with ten men in attendance.

When we interviewed clergy candidates, both for Hazzan and Rabbi, each was asked about how they do kiruv, which may be AKSE's path to viability.  The people offered the position mentioned guests and personal contacts.  To be fair, the Cantor did invite my wife and me to lunch and we went once though by kiddush I usually have the afternoon planned and regard a spontaneous invitation as a disruption.  I do not know who the Rabbi has over.  It has not been me.  There were plans to have small groups at people's houses with the Rabbi present.  I've never been invited to one of those parlor sessions.  I do not have a good answer for why kiruv goes unfulfilled.

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