Tuesday, September 28, 2010

High Holidays 5771 / 2010

Parking Available:  Yes, that's the first thing we noticed.  When my wife and I showed up on Rosh HaShanah morning, at around 9:45 - there were still plenty of open parking spaces in the Congregation Bnai Israel parking lot.  Coming from Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston, New Jersey, we're just not used to that.

Part of it, I'm sure, is the size of the parking lot.  But the more important parts are the size of the congregation and the size of the communitiy.  There are just fewer Yidden in Albuquerque than there are in Livingston.

This doesn't make one community "better" than the other - at least, after you've achieved a certain critical mass.  It's just different, and it will take some getting used to.

There were more available parking spaces on Rosh HaShanah Day 2.  But that didn't surprise us - it's the same everywhere we've been. 

What did surprise us was how easily we found a parking space for Yom Kippur, (we showed up a minute before Kol Nidre) and then for Neilah.  Back in New Jersey, those were the times when the synagogue was packed.

But the food was good (more about ABQ kashrut later); the prayers themselves were warm, meaningful, heartfelt.  I had the opportunity to read Torah and Haftorah, and (hopefully) contribute to the overall gestalt.  Which is what the High Holidays are all about.

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