Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summertime, and the davening is easy

I'm in summer mode now.  I'm a school teacher, so I have summers off.  I know I'm lucky.  I work very hard during the year and this is my time to relax, take care of all the mundane matters that piled up during the year, work on some personal projects, and enjoy life.

Of course, I still have to get to shul twice a day, morning and evening.  When I was working, I'd go to the 6:45/6:55 minyan (6:45 on Mondays and Thursdays, when the Torah is read).  I kept up this habit for a few days after the school year ended.  I felt I shouldn't change my routine.  Plus, I was comfortable in that minyan, with the people, the Gabbai, the general atmosphere.

But I felt so tired, I thought: why am I knocking myself out when I can go to a later minyan and wake up at 7:00 (amazing!) instead of at 6:00?  So last Friday I tried it out: waking up at 7:00, leaving my home at 7:45, going to the other shul I belong to, and praying at their 8:00 minyan.  I felt so much more relaxed.  The other shul is more low key anyway, less formal and less well attended.  So for the past week, that's been my new routine.

I do feel somewhat guilty for abandoning the minyan I've been a fixture at for the past six months.  I've led the services there countless times.  At the end of June, I was trading off with two other men who also had a chiyuv (obligation) to daven.  I'd daven half and then one of them would pick up at the Yishtabach blessing, or vise versa.  One of them is away for the summer and with me gone, I suppose the third man is carrying the prayer leading load every day.  (I've been meaning to speak with him at the evening service to ask how it's going.)

In the end, though, sleep has trumped guilt.  Taking care of my personal needs is overriding my sense of obligation to the minyan.  Saying kaddish is feeling less of a burden.

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