Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Orthomom: Not In My BackYard?

My friend Orthomom has a post going about breakaway minyanim. On the thread she says:

I have heard the argument against breakaway shuls many times over. But just because there might be an exisiting shul in the neighborhood that is dying, does not mean that the group who is unhappy with their present choices have to waive their freedom to worship exactly as they please. This is America. And short of the case where a new shul's membership completely empties out an existing shul (which is not the case here), I don't see any problem with it at all.

Well I do.

Sure, in America you're free to do as you please - no one would deny a dissatisfied person his right to open a new shul - but that doesn't mean that doing as you please is necessarily wise or in good taste. I have the right to belch in the president's face, for example, but should I? (be quiet TTC :) )

As for myself, I hate breakaway minyanim. They are started by spoiled brats who want more respect and more control, who are too lazy to walk an extra block, and consider themselves too holy to mix and mingle with the lesser Jews in the original shul.

They rarely emerge from good intentions.

Breakway minyanim are a wasteful duplication and also ossur, as discussed in a famous article I can't find online. The issues -among many- are that they deprive the Rabbi of a salary, and run afoul of brov am haadras melech. Also, when a neighborhood has more than one shul, kids grow up thinking there's something off about the members of the place his parents don't frequent.

One community, one shul. That's my view. It's nicer, it is stronger and it teaches Jews to respect one another.