Thursday, December 24, 2009

Finding Minyans, Part 2

In my previous post I mentioned that any synagogue that you choose to visit for your services and kaddish may have an element of unpredictability in connection with the minyan schedule.

This past Monday, I drove to Buffalo. Before I left for Buffalo, and as I said before, trust but verify. I planned my trip, which took me across Ontario, Canada, including two border crossings, so as to arrive at Young Israel of Buffalo 15 minutes before mincha.  I arrived in plenty of time for mincha, and was the only person there. I sat in my car in front of the synagogue, watching for other cars to arrive.

At mincha time, one car parked behind mine and the driver did the same thing. And then another two pulled around the side of the building and parked. I went to the front door. No lights turned on and I saw no movement.  I went around to the side door. There were two men and several young boys reading a sign posted on the door. Mincha (and shacharit) would be at a shiva house this week, at suchandsuch address, with a little google map to show us where.

One of the men, a frummie in black coat and hat with tzitzit says to me, "do you know vere is suchandsuch address maybe?" (I was wearing my BDU pants and steel-toe shoes - I was dressed for auditing a hazardous waste landfill this week.)

"Nope. I'm not from around here."

"You have a GPS, maybe?"

"Yup. Follow me."

They started mincha a little late, so we were just in time. I had afternoon and evening prayers and got to say kaddish three times on Monday (around 8 of them if I remember correctly).

Remember what I said about "trust but verify?"

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