Posted by: R Jonathan Gewirtz | March 29, 2009

Getting the Story Straight

I went to a shul today which is an older congregation. It’s membeship has waned and they rented out the downstairs to a new, younger synagogue of a different nusach. I had only been there on Shabbos previously and seen the large upstairs shul in use by the original members, while the downstairs had been redecorated and renamed. Today, though, I went upstairs only to find the younger group there and the older group downstairs.

I figured that the new, younger group had gotten the right to use it during the week as they had the upperhand in negotiations. How wrong I was!

I found out that the shul’s original contract stipulated that during the week they would continue to use the downstairs and the new group would be upstairs. Why?

The regular minyan consisted of several older men for whom climbing the stairs each day would be difficult. Therefore, they only went up once a week, on Shabbos.

I thought I had understood what was going on, and that the youngsters were pushing the old-timers around, but Baruch HaShem, they were instead sensitive and respectful. Mi K’amcha Yisrael?!

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