Enemies of the Synagogue?: Seeing Beyond the Symptom

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28 Responses

  1. MG says:

    I agrre that we have to try to treat the underlying cause of these symptoms. Nevertheless, I am not sure that all your suggested solutions are neccessarily ones that will solve these problems. There are a multitude of opportunities to socialise in the Jewish community, many of them within shuls. However they are frequently very poorly attended, despite the existence of many congregants whose behaviuor during tefila would imply that they wish to socialise in a religious context.

    The reason is that these people will claim that they are too busy to set aside time for socialising. They can justify time out of their hectic schedule for shul, because it fits in with their religious perception of themselves. However, once they are there, they realise that they actually prefer socialising to davening and that, now that they have committed themselves to spending that time in shul, they might as well make the most of it and have a chat.

    I agree that if people understood the tefilot better, things might improve. However, many people don't want to understand the tefilot better. They see shul, during tefila, as a time when they can socialise, but still achieve some basic function of religious practice. Other events within the shul, will not absolve them of the responsibility to visit shul at sha'at tefila (whether they perceive this responsibility as 3 times a day, once a week or 3 times a year is irrelevant) and so they will not attend these.

    I wish I had better solutions to suggest, but sadly I do not.

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