Post-Yom Kippur Musings

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I spent Yom Kippur in my local synagogue. Ours is a small community where it is very hard to have a minyian every week, which means that some years we have very few services. However the president always makes sure we have all the Yom Kippur services. One prayer leader is hired for the occasion and he is usually accompanied by another capable singer who can relay him.

This year we had more visitors than usual, which means that we had an average of 20 people all the time. One family invited relatives from Paris. Two people who live in the area booked a hotel room for the occasion so that they wouldn’t have to drive. One guy from Bolivia who is studying in Paris and who is doing an internship in a local firm attended all the services from beginning to end.

At the end we had the usual crowd of more than 60 people, thus making our small synagogue seem quite cramped. It was a mixed crowd of Sephardim and Ashkenazim, young and older folks, people from all waks of life and every degree of observance. Some people had moved or were now to old to attend but there were also new families.

All in all, it was a stimulating and invigorating experience that all the “usual” members described as unique. We hope that this will encourage more people to attend the Friday evening Shabbat services.

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11 thoughts on “Post-Yom Kippur Musings

  1. Gmar chatimah tovah! How wonderful that you had such a full shul for Yom Kippur! I must admit, I would feel at a loss if we only had a few services throughout the year. Much as I might have found this year’s High Holy Days hard, I am grateful for the fact that my shul and community is there and so vibrant.

    I do hope that you get to experience more frequent services this year.

    Chag Samei’ach for Sukkot!

  2. I hope despite the crowd you managed to connect with some of the people. It sounds like it could be a lovely amount, especially if people come more often.

    Do you ever have “food” events? Our synagogue sometimes does this to attract people who wouldn’t otherwise come. Free food, especially if it’s yummy Sephardi food.

    • I hope despite the crowd you managed to connect with some of the people.
      In fact, yes. I met a primary school teacher who attended neilah with her husband and their three sons.
      Thanks for suggesting the food events.

  3. I’m glad to hear that you had a meaningful Yom Kippur.

    And I second Leora’s suggestion. Maybe your shul could have a community kiddush on Simchat Torah? I know that many shuls around the world (including ours) have one.

  4. I am glad that you had a meaningful Yom Kippur, and that your synagogue was full, throughout.

    Yes, I agree, food events are a big draw!

  5. Yom Kippur, 1967, I went to my friend who grew up in Danville, VA. There, too, Yom Kippur was one of the few Jewish Holidays with an easy minyan. All the frum kids who grew up there left for either larger American cities or Israel.

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