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
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"