26 November 2005

My Non-Mt. Sinai Washington Heights Shabbas

With this shabbas being during Thanksgiving weekend, I knew a lot of people weren't going to be around in addition to being invited to someone's for lunch who goes to the Bridge Shul (Washington Heights Congregation), I decided I would not attend Mt. Sinai this shabbas. It ended up being that I davened alone for every davening except Saturday morning, which was fine. I found the experience interesting, as there were maybe 35-40 men and maybe a dozen or so women at the Bridge Shul, though I was told that there are usually 20 or so more people usually there. With such a small turnout, I found it slightly amusing when about a half dozen men left conspicuously before the haftarah reading, ostensibly for a kiddush club. The rabbi's sermon consisted of two parts, neither of them having to do with each other, the first part of which was a story about someone who spoke at the first Zionist conference and the second part being about לשוח בשדה in this week's parasha. When he said about what he was going to speak when he started, I thought, "Oh no, he's going to talk about prayer." However, he also offered the other alternative, that it could have been related to planting bushes or something along those lines. I was actually happy with how he spoke about those two possibilities. The cholent during kiddush was incredible and I had to go for a second bowl. I highly recommend it. After lunch at Hillel Deutsch's (which included some chocolate liqueur :)), I got me a mix of reading and sleeping, preceded by davening מנחה, then followed by davening מעריב. It was a relaxing shabbas.

18 comments:

Lab Rab said...

Have you tried Breuer's yet? It doesn't turn everybody on, but it's worth a looksee, considering how close you are.

Drew_Kaplan said...

Although I went to Breuer's one shabbas, that was back in the first out of my two semesters of being a YU undergrad. So, I think I would definitely see it in a new light now than when I saw it nearly five years ago.

outerboro said...

have you tried outside of manhattan?

brooklyn, queens, we got some jews too!

Drew_Kaplan said...

Yes, just last week, I was in Brooklyn for shabbas. I haven't spent a shabbas in Queens in a long time, so that's something I might try doing one of these days.

Hinda said...

Are you going to get in trouble for not going to Mt. Sinai? Probably not. However, by my asking this question and delving into an extended answer that has nothing to do with it, will make my comment longer, therefore making me seem more knowledgeable in the subject that I know nothing about. People should do the same as I do because long comments are always fun to read because they are usually a waste of time, especially if they come from me. If you are still reading this and are still not enlightened with some form of knowledge or extreme boredom, then I know some doctors that I can refer you to. That will be all for now.
Man. Typing that made me feel real smart.

Drew_Kaplan said...

You're right, I won't get in trouble for not going to the shul to which I pay membership dues. Besides, not only was it a shabbas where a lot of people weren't there, but also people don't care so much (I mean in a negative way, people do notice and will make mention of it in a nice way).

Hinda said...

Okay, first of all, you said nothing about my brilliant comment. And secondly, I am downstairs, please stop with the jumping jacks. Thanks. Buenas noches.

Drew_Kaplan said...

Hinda,
You know, I do not live right above Devorah's apartment, so I don't know who was doing those jumping jacks.
As to the latter part of your comment (a/k/a your drivel), I'm glad that you felt smart on account of having typed it.

Hinda said...

Thank you. Good to be acknowledged.

Tim Lieder said...

I should have gone to Bridge shul. I actually like it better than Mt. Sinai for the most part since the whole singles scene isn't there and I find a lot more arty people at Bridge. Besides I think the Bridge should remain as healthy as Mt. Sinai (I have this vision of everyone at Mt. Sinai spreading out to the other shuls to revive them - including the Saloveitchik shul and the one down on 175th street)

Although the main reason why I should have stayed away from Mt. Sinai is that they did ANOTHER young person sermon - and it was BORING. The same stupid lame Broke Rabbi story (although this wasn't the Chofetz chaim) making the same important but tedious lesson about how this is only a waiting room and we shouldn't carry so much luggage, or whatever, and then the guy just wouldn't shut up. He went on and on and on...

I must say that after two weeks of tedious and dull sermons from these pinch hitter rabbis (or rabbinical students, I'm not sure) I am ready for Rabbi Shnaidman to come back. He doesn't even have to call Bush a liar or take issue with the Artscroll biographies. I will argue to everyone that Shnaidman is an amazing rabbi no matter how much they might not like his politics.

And he gets everyone talking afterwards. Not like the tedious boring last two sermons I've endured.

Sadly I wouldn't have gone to Bridge this week anyhow - I wanted to see this blond that only comes to shul once every 3-4 months. very cute. Well gorgeous - and a total nerd too.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

I was disappointed that most of the people i know at Mt. Sinai (a.k.a. Hhoreiv a.k.a. The Mountain of God) weren't there this past Shabbos... my brother and a friend of ours from Brooklyn were in town and i wanted to introduce them to people, but most people were gone. Going home to their parents for Thanksgiving weekend... what's the world coming to?

Anonymous said...

"Oh no, he's going to talk about prayer."
Huh? Are you afraid of prayer? I don't get it.

Drew_Kaplan said...

Anonymous,
Perhaps I gave too little information as to the phrase לשוח בשדה - it most likely means to be doing something related with bushes or shrubs in the field; however, there's also another rabbinic understanding that it could be speaking in the field, and not just speaking, but rather praying to God, per se. So, I thought he was going to speak about only the latter possibility, which doesn't seem as likely, according to the simple reading of the text. And I like simple readings of texts (I might expand upon this idea in a much future posting).

Meredith said...

You forgot to mention your brilliant foreshadowing at Shabbos lunch.

Drew_Kaplan said...

Meredith,
That's true, though it was purely accidental. (For the rest of the world: there was a couple at the meal that I thought for sure was married - and I asked the guy his wife's name - apparently the following day, he proposed.)

Meredith said...

... for which I'm sure she'll be eternally grateful.

Tim Lieder said...

Just like that scene in Walk the Line...

Of course there was also Oren and Miriam who I thought were engaged many months before their engagement party.

Gatos Hombre said...

Breur's, breuer's!!!! I love davening there Saturday morning. I can concentrate and the whole yeki thing is great. And the people are very nice--they invite u to eat with them etc...and they're pretty frum and pretty serious about this Judaism thing.

I go to Mt. Sinai sometimes, but it's definitely not for the davening--I guess when I feeling like being sociable. I hate the set-up...U can't stand comfortably in those narrow pews during mussaf/amida and the architecture/ambiance is depressing. Kind of the opposite of Breurs which is a big beautiful shul with comfortable seating and a place to put your siddur. Obviously, I don't know how it is in the ezrat nashim.