Let’s Talk About Going to Shul

From the Anash.org Inbox: For centuries, the shul was the place where Jewish life happened. A community that has an active shul all week long is a community with vibrant Jewish community life. Let’s bring that back.

By Boruch Chaimson

Let’s talk about going to shul. Not just periodically- every day.

If you are a daily shul goer, keep it up and pull a friend or two along to join you. If you don’t yet make it to shul every day, consider the following points:

The Alter Rebbe writes in his Shulchan Aruch that the daily ritual of going to shul is the bedrock of Yiddishkeit. It is the foundation upon which everything you do throughout the rest of your day rests.

But why every day? Isn’t once or twice a week often enough? It seems extraneous to deem it necessary to show up each and every morning without fail.

Let’s reexamine that premise- are you really all that fine without being in shul every day? 

You must admit, that humans are very needy and dependent beings. Take a look at the brachos of shmoneh esrei – there’s a lot we have to ask for. We know it personally from our own lives- from the moment we wake up till the moment we go to sleep there are thousands of things that need to go right in order for our day to run smoothly. At any given moment, multiple things can go awry and derail the rest of our day, or even drastically change the course of our lives.

Come to shul every day and talk to Hashem. Connection in the morning will help you remember you are not alone. You will have the ability to approach any and all tasks of your day with a sense of bitachon, knowing you’re not alone. You will be filled with a sense of meaning, knowing there’s a divine purpose in everything. 

Talking about being alone, are you feeling lonely and lost with your daily challenges? Coming to shul and being part of a minyan changes that. Going it alone, davening at home or in your office leaves you separated from the community. Joining the minyan instantly makes you part of a supportive entity. A minyan has great spiritual powers, as Chazal tell us. 

There’s a huge difference in the environment of davening at home vs. davening in shul. When you’re at home, your kids need help getting out to school, your wife is getting ready to go to work, and of course, you are rushing as well. Squeezing davening into this kind of environment is hectic and stressful. 

Compare that to coming to shul, disconnecting from the fast-paced life so that you can connect to the real essence of your life. Daven like a mentch. Meet your peers all here to start their day on the right foot, with your mind and heart in the right place, talking to Hashem.

Joining the tzibbur for davening has other major benefits as well. Meet people every day, sharing your life with each other, makes you all part of a holy community. You get support from the community and offer your support as well. When you belong to a community you are part of the beat and pulse of everyday life and chance of you drifting away into your own reality fades dramatically. The minyan anchors you. 

This is felt most strongly when you actively show up every day. If you come to shul on Shabbos only, or occasionally, you’re there as a visitor. When you are part of the daily fabric of the minyan, you cement your place in the community, you are a part and parcel of the shul. 

The rule is consistency: attending shul consistently is a game changer, not only spiritually, but also for real stability in your life. Consistency in anything is king. In the beginning, the going is rough, but as you get used to it and a habit is formed, it transforms you.

You may be thinking, I remember the times I used to attend shul daily. It wasn’t all that inspiring. 

Come back, just this time do it right, come to daven. Shut off your phone, face your creator, and talk to Him. For real.

For centuries, the shul was the place where Jewish life happened. A community that has an active shul all week long is a community with vibrant Jewish community life. If the doors of our shuls remain closed all week and community members remain isolated and confined to their private lives, eventually other events seep in and take over the community life. This completely changes the dynamics of Yiddishkeit in our communities. 

In recent times, there has been a waning in shul attendance that drives us apart and weakens our brotherhood. Let’s fill up our shuls every day. Make the commitment, join the movement, and experience a real change for yourself and your community. 

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  1. Daily minyan is a lifeline! Normal schedule, connect with friends and focus on what’s important.

  2. Yasher Koach! Beautifully written.

    May all our Tefilos Btzibur be answered in a revealed way.

    Rabbi Yirmi Cohen

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