The minyan is sagging. It’s limping along. Most days we’re lucky to get ten guys. More often than not, we’re only able to get 7 or 8, and then we have to drag someone in from the other room where they are learning, or move into that room altogether and “force” them into our minyan. One of our members compared it to an old, beloved but dying car. You really need it, and you’re constantly trying to keep it going just a little longer.
I don’t know if it’s the lackadaisical attitude that comes with summer, or just a general lack of interest. I’m as guilty as the next guy. Without the urgency of saying kaddish, I find it easier to rationalize skipping shul. No, I’m not sleeping in. I just have more patients in the hospital these days, and I need to get going earlier in the morning. I suppose that when I was in mourning I’d cut it a little closer, leave a little later and get in to work just a little later. But these days I can’t justify it.
It still bothers me that people are in the next room learning while we’re struggling to find ten guys to say kaddish or kedusha. It seems to me that if they can get up and be in shul by 5:45 or 6 am, they ought to be able to help us out and then learn afterwards. I realize I’m being selfish here. More likely, these guys would be in bed at that time, and have decided to get up early for the express purpose of learning a little before davening. Kol Hakovod. I just think that if there’s a group of people who need you, and you’re physically capable of helping out, that ought to be the priority.
I’ve developed a bit of a negative attitude to the whole thing, and I’ve been trying to purge myself of it. I actually sent out an email, and rather than complain about the people in the other room, I tried to spin it positively. A little pep talk to get people to show up for our minyan and help those of us who can’t possibly make any other minyan, and then have all the time in the world for learning afterwards. But apparently it fell on deaf ears.
So I guess this is one of those little tests that the Almighty has laid before me. Can I keep my commitment to davening in shul, even without the need to say kaddish? Without a guaranteed minyan? Can I keep a positive attitude towards the learning groups? Can I keep from kvetching about it on the internet?