Monday, September 25, 2006

Let's talk about auctions and breaks

I wrote:

Well, for starters the shul has no auction, preferring not to turn their place of prayer into a marketplace on one of the holiest days of the year. That's 25 minutes right there. Also, the people who pray at the shul, apparently, are made from tougher, sturdier stock. They are able to power through, to the end of davening, without stopping for a recess. The "break" cost the shteeble another 30 minutes

Troll: Arrrggh. DovBear, once again, you make me feel like wringing your neck (not literaly). Shteeble's are usualy in greater need of funds than Shul's....

DB: On what planet? Maybe this was true in 1950, but it is true no longer. Most of the big shuls I know have older members and are starving. All of the shteebles I know have plenty of rich members who happily pay for everything.

Anyway, so what if they "need" the money? Since when is needing money a justification for anything? Why is money a good reason for being miztaer the tzibbur, adding 20-30 minutes to the davening, and making the shul into a shuk? Besides, if they really need money let them raise money in other ways, like raffles, dinners, and so on. Or they could increase the annual fees. Needing money isn't justification for degrading the shul on one of the holiest days of the year.

Troll: On Rosh Hashona, people are willing to pay more for Aliyot, hence an oppertunity for the Shteeble to raise some extra cash. But of course, DB (as usual) is critical.

DB: Big deal. They could also "raise some extra cash" by letting the local pizza shop put an ad on the rabbi's back. Should they do that too? And what's wrong with your values? The mere fact that people are willing to pay more, gives the shteeble license to soak them?

Troll: And on Yom Kippur, the Shteeble'lites by miracle turn into tougher sturdier stock??

Ha. At the shteeble, I sometimes attend they have two breaks on Yom Kippur giving them a total recess time of more than 2 hours. By contrast the shul gets 45 minutes to an hour, at best.

And if you want to talk about "sturdier stock" why is it that the typical shteeble person (and I say this from vast experience) doesn't have the stamina to stand up when the aron is open, or to hit the floor during aleinu and the avoda? I've been to many shuls and many shteebles and it's always the same: In the shul 80 percent of the people stand up whenever the aron is open and prostrate themselves whenever the liturgy calls for it. In the shteeble, most people remain sitting when the aron is open, and very few of them bother to kneel and bring their face to the floor at the high points of the service. This irreverance might be permitted, but it's still an irreverance.

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