minyan exchange v.1
a motley crew of kol zimrahniks came down to spend shabbat with us this past week. it was a lot of fun. we met friday night at Green Door. By 6:50 the all the chairs in circular room we had setup were full. by seven, the standing room was minimal. By 7:05 we began
scavanging chairs from various other areas. i remember personally bringing a piano bench into the hall. because the leftover space was in a hallway approaching the circle we ended up with a new alternative to the semicircular, single direction, or concentric circle approach to room setup. we had engineered, accidentally, the lollipop school of room design. i was sitting in the middle of the room along with many of the regulars who had helped setup. it was a fantastic place to daven. Ben Dreyfus and Eizabeth Richman faciltiated a fantastic prayer experience full of harmony, intensity, oomph, and intention. The vibes changed a few times and and the melodic choices ranged from uptempo-high-energy to more serene and contemplative. it was an elegant balance. Over 150 people came. At this point word has spread far enough that folks are coming who I know but found out some other way. It's a neat developmental stage for this community. Davening has gotten good enough that we can't seem to set enough seats.
There was a constant buzz of energy. It was an exciting spot.
The introduction to the dvar tikkun was courtesy of Jo. She told the story of Akiva hiding on the roof of the rabbinic beti midrash when he didn't have the money to enter. he froze nearly to death trying to learn torah with his ear against the roof. the rabbis found him the next morning when his body obstructed the light coming in. they rushed him down and lit a fire on shabbat, making a special exception to save his life.
Like many in the room, i loved the story, and had no idea how Jo was going to connect it to Daniel Solomon of DC Vote and his organization's quest to enfranchise the district's residents who are taxed but lack congresspersons and senators.
The bridge was brilliant, just as Akiva looked was knocking at the door of the Rabbinic Process, imminently close and unable to contribute, so too are the district's residents hearing the whispers of our government and on the wrong side of the thin roof. our disenfranchisement also clouds the room. unlike the rabbis the legislators of our nation have disregarded the darkness caused by the disenfranchised, as if to say, "dark...that's okay by us". It was such a tight and perfect bridge.
Daniel Solomon gave a stirring and audience appropriate account of the current situation and the ways we can be involved. His charisma led to a nice connection with the people in the room. He memorably said that he loved praying with us and that "this is the most fun [he'd] ever had in a yarmulke".
Ethan followed with a fantastic announcement set which preceisely conveyed information and was überentertaining.
The potluck was punctuated with yummy desserts and everyone seemed to get their fill.
Though the scramble to get everyone space to daven was hectic, i thought on the whole the energy was good and the davening, intro, dvar tikkun, and announcements were all excellent.