Today is February 17, 2020 -
Are you aware that Temple Sinai has the enviable distinction of being the only Conservative synagogue in Hollywood and one of the few in Broward County that has consistently maintained a daily morning and afternoon Minyan? This cherished treasure has continued unabated for more than 70 years.
The word “Minyan” refers to a quorum of ten Jews over the age of majority (thirteen for males, twelve for females). Certain prayers require a quorum because of communal affirmation. This is especially true of prayers that assert divine sanctity and comprise the Kedusha in the Amidah, as well as various forms of the Kaddish. There is a longstanding tradition of saying the Kaddish after the death of a parent and other close relatives. There is also the custom of reciting the Kaddish on the anniversary (Yarzeit) of a loved ones death. Without a Minyan you, your fellow congregants and that stranger who joins us to recite, cannot honor their loved ones with the Kaddish. Judaism cannot exist in isolation, for community is everything; and a Minyan represents the whole community.
Why are ten worshipers the “magic number?” The number ten was derived from the first verse of Psalm 82, which reads: “God stands in the congregation of God.” The word eidah (congregation) is also applied to the ten spies who, in the days of Moses, rendered a negative report on the land of Canaan. Hence it was established that a “congregation of Hashem” required ten people.
Another interpretation is Abraham’s request to Hashem to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham asks, “if there are 10 righteous people, will you save the city?” and Hashem says, “yes.” Abraham is unable to find 10 righteous people, but he stops at ten. He avoids lowering the number to 7 or 5 or 3. Why? Because 10 are the minimum critical mass for a “community.” if 10 people are not present, even Abraham knows it can’t be saved.
About 20 percent of our Minyan attendees consist of young men and women – a remarkable Mitzvah. A fundamental reason for a young person to come to Minyan is based on the importance of being part of a Jewish community; a group of worshipers sharing a common interest. As described by Abraham Joshua Heschel … “our ability to pray depends upon our being part of a community. How can we forget that our ability to pray we owe to the community and to tradition. We never pray as individuals, set apart from the rest of the world. Every act of worship is an act of participating.” [Siddur Sim Shalom, page XI].
During the year there are approximately 625 morning and evening Minyans. Fortunately, about 90 percent of our Minyans meet the ten-person threshold. But there are many days, roughly 10 percent, where the Minyan does not reach the goal of ten men and women. That is why we are appealing for you to become involved in our Minyan.
You will attain a sense of calmness, camaraderie, and inner peace, and bond with our traditions. You will gain a deeper insight into the value of prayer. Further, you will restore yourself at the beginning and end of the day.
The Minyan is an oasis of peace, quiet, and prayer in the midst of our busy lives. Temple Sinai has provided our members, the unaffiliated, and visitors with a place to mourn, to observe Yarzeit, or to simply turn to Hashem the traditional Jewish way.
Our Minyan embodies a place to celebrate life’s simchas, joys, as well as to grieve and mourn a loss. Join us, not as spectators, but as members of the“Minyan family.” Together we can create a true kehilla kedosha. After each morning Minyan we chat and kibbutz and share a wonderful breakfast. The Minyan prayers will nourish your soul. And its incomparable breakfast will nourish your body.
With love and Shalom,
Minyan Representative to Board of Governors