This past weekend I was out of town for my youngest nephew’s Bar Mitzvah. He did very well and I was quite proud of him. Since my mother-in-law is now in rehab, following a stroke, my wife did not join us, it was just me and my son. This was fine as I often have been, and sometimes still am, the one who brings him to shul. What I found interesting was the attitude he, and some others, had of the service.
My sister goes to an Orthodox synagogue. I am perfectly comfortable davening at an Orthodox shul (as well as Conservative or Reform). I am currently attending a Conservative synagogue since it is where my wife is most comfortable but I have enjoyed more traditional services as well.
My son, who does fairly well in services, was lost for part of it due to the “mumbling” sound that often takes place at such services. I do admit, I too prefer a service where people seem to be enjoying it as opposed to be praying to get out. I am not suggesting this is true of all Orthodox services nor that it doesn’t occur at Reform or Conservative services, but at times that did take place here. At other times, they did their fair share of singing.
I have a distant cousin who was there. He is not used to this type of service at all and actually fell asleep during part of it. I also have an aunt who was there and during part of the service took out a camera and started taking pictures, with a flash. (For those who don’t know, the use of a camera as well as using a flash are not permitted on Shabbat).
Still, for the most part, everyone seemed to try and respect each other’s wishes. Certainly that is important. Often time, the biggest problem we face as Jews is, trying to get along with one another. It is refreshing when you see people from all different backgrounds at least make an attempt.