Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



The Family that Prays Together

Penina Pinchasi

On Shabbos, my daughters and I await our husbands and sons’ homecoming from shul — or I should say shuls, plural. Eight males. Five different minyanim

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

 Mishpacha image

I must determine whether they have just left for shul or went ages ago and will be home soon, or perhaps stayed in shul to learn

W hen I was a child growing up in England, there were posters hanging outside many churches proclaiming: “The family that prays together, stays together.” They had pictures of a mother, father, one son, one daughter, and a dog walking together. (I don’t know what they did with the dog when they got to church.)

I often think of that poster on Leil Shabbos as my daughters and I await our husbands/sons homecoming from shul — or I should say shuls, plural. Eight males. Five different minyanim. Obviously, they never saw those posters.

On Leil Shabbos at least, they more or less leave the house and return at the same time. Shabbos morning’s routine is more complicated. My husband is the founder and gabbai of a 6:30 a.m. minyan. It’s what I rather irreverently call the insomniacs’ minyan. You can be chassidish, litvish, kippah serugah, or Sephardic, but if you’re up at that unearthly hour, there’s somewhere to daven. You either love davening at that time, or you… simply can’t get up.

Frequently, members of our family ask to be wakened for the minyan. When it comes to sons-in-law, if requested, my husband knocks quietly on the door. If there’s no response, he just leaves them alone. But sometimes our grandsons beg him to get them up, and then he tries a bit harder as there are no wives or babies in the same room who might be wakened inadvertently.

One recent Shabbos, our 16-year-old masmid asked to be wakened early and my husband had “promised” him hagba’ah if he got to shul. So early the next morning Zeidy spent several minutes gently and then not-so-gently tickling a body well wrapped up in blankets. Until a little eight-year-old head popped out of the folds and said, “Zeidy, I don’t want to go to shul. It was Binyomin — he’s in the bed underneath.” By then, too much time had been spent on the wrong grandson and my husband had to run off to open up the shul for his minyan.

Teenagers don’t like getting up in the morning — that’s a well-known fact — but what’s perhaps less well known is how long a boy remains a teenager. The obvious logical numerical answer is 19, but that doesn’t take into account their ability to sleep.

I well remember my friend telling me that she had to pull her son out of bed on his bar mitzvah morning, likewise on his aufruf Shabbos. What bothered her more was that she still had to do it on the Shabbos morning of his son’s bris. Thirteen years later, she was still yelling, “Shlomo! If you don’t get up now, you and your son will miss his bar mitzvah.”

 

Fortunately there are many shuls and minyanim near our home in Jerusalem, each starting at a different time, some with a lot of singing, some with less, some starting much later and lasting much longer, some starting later but with a baal korei who seems to be in training for the leining Olympics.

Now, I’m not great at getting up on Shabbos morning, either. When my kids were young, I used to be a regular shul-goer, but now that I’m on my own in the kitchen on Fridays, often catering for a big crowd, I need Shabbos to recuperate.

My main job on Shabbos morning is working out when we might be having lunch. This involves checking in with my daughters and daughters-in-law as to whether their husbands/sons are still in bed or are back in bed. For those menfolk not in the house, I must determine whether they have just left for shul or went ages ago and will be home soon, or perhaps stayed in shul to learn (what, our house is too noisy? They’re your children…) and need to be picked up when lunch is ready. With a fair number of sons and sons-in-law, and an ever growing number of teenage grandsons, it’s becoming an increasingly complicated business.

Related Stories

First Date

Yonina Levine

Oh, yes! Little Naomi, our tiny jellybean, so recently a helpless blob in a car seat, is about to go...

Stage Fright

Chaiky Berger

If this girl was out, then the highlight of the evening and the zing of the show would need to be om...

Lifetakes: Waiting Again

Esther Kurtz

We stew, and we think, and we regret, and we memorialize, and then we just sit quietly waiting for t...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you