Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wrong Haftarah

Intereting shabbos, a special event with a landmark birthday for one of our congregants, which attracted many of her friends from the USCJ congregation, which provided us a real Kohen and Levi for our Torah reading, something we often do not have among our own members in attendance.  They had to sit through a whole Torah reading, 126 pesukim, but only two Aliyah Sound Bites, both brief.  And somewhat expanded Kiddush to make the attendance worthwhile. 

The Haftarot that bridge Tisha B'Av and Rosh Hashana, seven Haftarot of Consolation from Isaiah, all need to be read, though there has been some divided opinion as to whether a special Haftarah as the new month changes from Av to Elul, as it did last shabbat, changes the sequence.  Our custom has been to read Haftarah Rosh Hodesh, then double Re-eh and Ki Tatzay as they are ordinarily read together as the Haftarah for Noach.  That has been our custom, or so it was announced by the Rabbi with the right page number for Rosh Hodesh.  The reader, however just started Re-eh, leaving those of us who could read Hebrew wondering for a moment why he was reading from a different page than was announced.  Most of us figured it out quickly, found the right text and followed along, at least from our congregation.  Don't know if the visitors from elsewhere could tell the difference, or even cared.  That may be our principle form of product differentiation.

As congregational snafu's go, there are many more serious ones like entrenching all the VP's in the Executive Board in perpetuity to the neglect of talent progression or sermons that are too identifiable as AIPAC faxes to their designated Rabbis.  Perfection is often the enemy of the good and we botched this one.

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Nobody Showed

Having just retired from my 40+ years as a physician, I thought it would be of benefit to my synagogue to help out with minyanim.  I chose to start with three afternoon minyanim a month.  While my male phenotype is most useful for shabbos mincha where Torah is read when a minyan materializes, I do not want to be there through Havdalah and fidget during the Rabbi's teaching session, with which I have never connected well.  It would be better to start with ordinary 5:30PM mincha/maariv, a no frills session of much shorter duration.  So I went at the announced time earlier this week, my first as a retiree.  Got there a few minutes early.  Rabbi was off that day, but there was no announcement that minyan had been cancelled.  Waited 15 minutes past the announced time.  No other cars arrived.  I left.

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