I attend Shabbat morning services fairly regularly. I like my shul. I like how the service flows. I enjoy the rabbi’s words of Torah. I like how the seats are configured. I like the people. I like the ambiance.
I also enjoy visiting other synagogues. Discounting the obvious denominational differences, I like noting the subtle differences between my own synagogue and others and bringing back positives worthy of implementing.
I had been looking forward to spending this past Shabbat in New Jersey with my sister and her family celebrating her son’s bar mitzvah (mazel tov, Daniel) but, as I wrote last week, I was in Chicago for my granddaughter Talia’s naming, and to paraphrase the Yiddish expression, “you can’t dance at two weddings with one tush.”
Talia’s shul was very comfortable for me with a very similar ambiance to my own synagogue. People were friendly, and tunes were mostly recognizable. The most notable difference, which I hope to bring back to our community, was the outstanding traffic flow of the kiddush. The kiddush committee utilized multiple two-sided serving tables, strategically placed in the social hall, with no spreadable foods to clog up the lines. Hundreds of people were very efficiently fed. Yasher koach to the committee.
While it’s best to avoid conflict, conflicting simchas are better than no simchas. Mazel tov all the way around!