These and Those

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

Conference room davening

Posted on September 8, 2011 by Shibley

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Throughout the first year of of my blog I tried to write about a few different locations where I davened, in an effort to try and understand how a space does or does not impact the tfillah experience.

Yesterday afternoon, I was asked by one of my Pardes teachers if I would go to mincha in the offices of Koren Publishers. Not wanting to miss an opportunity for a new location, meet some new people, or miss mincha itself, I decided to join him. The minyan was held in a conference room lined with the siddurim of Koren, there was certainly neither a shortage nor a lack of variety among the siddurim available. A couple of pictures on the wall, bookshelves, and a window into a neighboring office completed the decor. A conference table was in the middle of the room, with a couple of office chairs around, leaving most of the participants standing for the duration. A shtender in the corner was the only indication that davening might happen in this room.

It would be difficult for me to say that this was the moving mincha. I think it had something to do with the confluence of prayer and work spaces. A beautiful synagogue is not necessarily necessary for the tfillah to resonate, but I felt like I was at a board meeting. Protecting a sacred space for tfillah could be a crucial element in protecting the prospects of a positive outcome.