Monday, August 6, 2012

Davening and kaddish in Israel

Any time you travel, even to a place you've been before, you have to adjust to new ways.  I've been to shul in Israel before, but never as a regular everyday goer. Every day I experience more differences than what I'm used to back home.  Here are some of them as I, so to speak, take my mourning on the road:

1) At the shul closest to where I'm staying, which uses Nusach Ashkenaz like my shuls back home, they start with Rabbi Yishmael Omer, add a vidui (confession of sins) before Tachanun, say Ayn Kelohanu and then Kaddish D'rabbanan at the end, followed by another Borchu (except, I learned today, on Monday and Thursday when the Torah is read), then a short drash and then yet another Kaddish D'rabbanan.

2) The morning Shacharit services tend to start earlier. At the local shul, there are two minyanim (services), one at 6:30 and the at 7:00 a.m. Where I first stayed when I got to Israel, the two morning services where at 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. At home, I can attend either 7:45 or 8:00 a.m. weekday morning minyan.

3) There doesn't seem to be any such thing as a Mincha/Ma'ariv service where one follows immediately or close to the other. For example, Mincha services are now starting at 7:20, goes to about 7:40, but then the evening service does not begin until 7:58, giving the Rabbi a long time to speak. This makes saying kaddish in the afternoon and evening even more time consuming.

4) The Rabbis here are appointed by the government and don't always represent the hashkafa (religious outlook) of the congregants. I've noticed that the Rabbis dress more conservatively and seem more religiously stringent than the congregants. Also, their talks, in Hebrew, to the extent I've followed them, are not very interesting.

5) The davening and kaddish saying is faster and I have to say it as fast as I can to keep up with the others.

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