Those of you who read this may have had the distinct advantage of having had a day school or yeshiva education. I did not!
I was the public-school kid at the NCSY Shabbaton that you would try to “kiruv” and bring me the education I was missing. I spent many a shabbaton humming the benching because I had never heard it before.
Fast forward 55 years. I have called myself the osmosis Jew. I absorb from my sources around me. I learn from my rabbi, from Zoom lectures, from my parsha partner, from something a friend said or learned from a sefer or a podcast. I hunger for any material that will teach me about the history of who I am because I am a Jew. I hunger for information that will help me practice my faith with meaning and not by rote mumbling. I long to understand what I say in my tefillot and why I say it. I need to have a place to ask questions and get answers as to what it means to be an observant Jew.
I am not a Navi, but I can tell you that on Shabbat, August 20, beginning at 9 a.m., you can find a Shabbat morning service that will take you into a world of exploration. It is the Foundation Minyan, started in memory of Andy Dimond, z”l. His journey in Judaism began with a similar minyan in New York. He too came from little knowledge to learn the ins and outs of prayer, Torah and the practice of being a committed Jew. His wife and children continue his legacy by extending this opportunity to you.
The format of this service is simple. Learn a little bit about a prayer and then pray. Hear Torah reading and ponder questions given by the rabbi leading the service. The unique part of the service is a brief discussion with the congregants as they grasp the essence of this week’s parsha. Freely take part in discussions. Never a “wrong” answer or question. Of course, a kiddush will follow.
This service is open to anyone who wants a place to wake up the pintele yid (the little Jew) inside you, FFBs to Jews learning what it means to be a Jew. See you there!
Join us at Congregation Beth Aaron, 950 Queen Anne Road, Teaneck, in the Beit Midrash upstairs. Rabbi Hayim Angel will be our guest rabbi leading the week’s minyan.