Monday, May 10, 2010

Losing a Practice

היום אחד וארבעים יום שהם חמשה שבועות וששה ימים בעמר
Today is the forty-first day, making five weeks and six days of the omer
יסוד שב יסוד

A day of foundation in a week of foundation

We didn't make minyan this morning. This is becoming a more frequent occurrence these days, closer to a weekly rather than a monthly event. More and more, I feel that within a couple of years we will not be able to sustain a daily morning minyan and need to move to a different, part-time schedule. I sincerely hope that I am proven wrong, for attending morning minyan has become a touchstone for me and for my practice.

As Leviticus is the book teaching us the practice, Bamidbar is the book that contains the lessons of bringing the practice into our lives. Participating in morning minyan is one way I am able to do that. I can't help but start my day with thankfulness and mindfulness--the poetry of the liturgy guides me along. The words don't always stick :), but they're there for support when I need them. Just as I am always able to support those who are saying kaddish, the mourners' prayer, for loved ones--those whose grief is still new; those who share cherished memories of friends and family long passed.

Starting your day at morning minyan is one of those hidden gems of Jewish practice. In some ways, it's like having a mini Shabbat each day. Your only obligation--be present. And you're always welcome for coffee and a snack afterwards :)

So to all those of the Jewish persuasion who are reading this, wherever you are--think about finding your local minyan, maybe check it out. You get to support those in your community, and you will be surprised at the support you will get in return.

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