These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Kol Rina

Posted on April 13, 2011 by Shibley

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Last Shabbat I had the pleasure of trying out a new synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Nachlaot called Kol Rina. Kol Rina meets in a miklat (bomb shelter), and you could easily miss it. Once inside, it appears as if this is a full service synagogue, with a newsletter, committees, a library, events, a rabbi, all of the markers of an established community, so I quickly overcame my shock when I noticed that the sanitary white walls of the miklat had been made to look more heimish.

On to the davening. Plastic chairs seem to be the norm. Thankfully fans lined the walls, allowing for plenty of air circulation. The mechitza was in a front-back arrangement, which is not my preference, but the amud (leader’s table) was centrally located. Those assembled were primarily in their 20’s and early 30’s, some with children, and a few older folks.

Davening was nusach Sfard, with a Carlebach style. It took a bit of time for the energy to get going, but then it was hard to contain. Dancing broke out sporadically and repeatedly throughout the evening. There was a sense of just losing oneself in the melodies, forgetting about any of the concerns of the week preceding or following. About the dancing, one of my roommates said it best, “At Kol Rina, you don’t dance, you get danced.” Which turned out to ring quite true. I must admit that the latter portion of davening dragged a bit, as a few of the men were not willing to conclude their singing and move on to their respective meals. Aside from that, I highly recommend Kol Rina.