Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Well I was wrong. The Poobahs of the Shteeble weren't pushing expansion; nonetheless, the meeting was heated and angry and I left feeling cheated.

In the shteeble, we sit at tables. Each table seats about 5 men, and we sit facing the front of the room. As you can guess, the tables take up some space. Each one is about 6 inches wide, and made from a good, firm wood. They look nice, and, best of all, they contribute to the illusion that the shteeble is also a house of study.

But we have a problem: the shteeble is full. For the last several weeks men have been standing in the aisles, and, as the neighborhood becomes Christian-rein the membership will certainly swell. A meeting was called to discuss solutions.

The Grand Poobah took the floor, and dropped a nuclear bomb. He proposed eliminating the tables all together, and replacing them with benches. This suggestion was not received with smiles and happy faces.

Here are some highights of the learned discussion that followed:

"How can you have a shul without tables!"
"When we agreed to join this shul, we thought we were getting tables!"
"My father was one of the founders of this shul, and believe me, he would have wanted tables!"
"What are we, all of a sudden? A church?"
"What does the Rabbi say?"
"I can't belong to a shul that doesn't have tables!"

You could tell the GP wasn't expecting to be rebuffed so forcefully. You could actually see his brow begin to quiver, and the beads of sweat begin to form. Chastised, he asked for compromises.

"Let's sit face-to-face!" answered the crowd.

"But if we do that, half of the congregation will be sitting with their backs to the front of the shul," the GP replied.

"We don't care," roared the crowd.

The GP asked for comments.

And so, with the Rabbi's comment regarding whiskey-gate ringing in my ears, ("We can't be too safe") I stood up.

to be continued


Without tables, upon what will you place and under what will you hide the wkiskey?  

We had the same problem at my shul. When we moved, they decided to put tables in, but only for the front half of the shul. It was meant for parents to sit with their children facing them. But that never really worked out, so it's now a place for people to put their mini-shtenders and sforim.
When the shul started to get too full, instead of removing the tables to make more room for chairs, we did the next best thing:
We moved the mechitza back about 6 feet further into the women's section and added more men's chairs. The women may object to this, but they're so far back now, nobody can hear them anyway.  

Speaking of shteebles and shuls, does anyone know what happened to the renegaderebbetzin blog? It's gone!  

I'd hate to be oneof the people who sat with my back to the Aron Kodesh. Even when we have non-service activities in the sanctuary and put the chairs in a circle, I hate sitting with my back to the Torah. It feels awkward and somehow disrespectful. I know Orthodox arrangements are different anyway, with the chazzan's table usually in the middle, right? We have a bimah at the front, but the rabbi only uses it on Saturday mornings.

Do you have assigned seats? Who are the unlucky ones who have to sit backwards?


AR -
What a riot. Makes me wish we had more shteeble-type personalities in our shul, LOL! I could almost hear the Yiddish accents in your quotes from the "learned discussion."
Please continue - I love reading about these things when they don't involve me! :-)
Oh, and Anonymous - I hope you have discovered that my blog is back.

A good game website for aoc power leveling service.  
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