Sunday, September 19, 2021

Yom Kippur Outdoor Synagogue-- I Finally Prayed "With" a Minyan

 I know. You are thinking that this is some strange playground draped in sheets. Yes, you can look at it that way, but it's our local outdoor synagogue. 

Add a small portable "ark," a bunch of chairs, string up lights for the night prayers, and you have yourself an outdoor synagogue. Quite a few of my neighbors had prayed together here for over a year, even last winter, but I got no closer than my front door once or twice. It's across the street and down the block. Depending on who's the chazan, I can hear or not hear the prayers.

A couple of months ago, it had been decided to close it down and have everyone return to their former synagogues, in buildings. The powers that be had decided that it was finally safe enough, at least for those vaccinated.

But then the numbers of COVID positive began to climb, and it was clear that at least for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur the outdoor synagogue had to reopen. This time our neighborhood synagogue took charge declaring the synagogue building "green" and the outdoor synagogue "purple." This way children could attend with their parents outdoors, and there would be fewer people indoors. On Rosh Hashanah I attempted to hear the outdoor prayers from my front door. I was partially successful, but that was good enough. Shofar blowing both days was perfect.

On Yom Kippur I started out by my door, and my next-door neighbors, who have a better perch invited me to their lawn. That's where I prayed most of Yom Kippur. There were just two of us on a large lawn, very private and safe. It was wonderful.

I wonder when/if I'll ever really get back to praying from my seat- the best seat in the Ezrat Nashim, Women's Gallery. There were things bothering me, even making me leave in the middle and pray at home, even before corona. 

May 5782 be a wonderful, healthy, safe and joyful year for all, Gd willing.

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