Since the Coronavirus overtook all of our lives, nothing has been more frustrating, I am sure, then having to daven at home without a Minyan. However, it did not take long for our immediate neighborhood to come up with a solution.
Yes, that is correct, for the past two weeks we have all been fortunate to be able to daven in a Minyan, despite the Shuls being closed, and the restrictions to daven together as a Minyan.
This is not something that is very easy to do, since there are various laws that come into play when making a Minyan such as this, but we have consulted with a Rav and received permission to daven as a Minyan. The laws are complex and therefore if you are interested in starting one with your neighbors then a competent Rav should be consulted.
In Israel, there are many neighborhoods that would qualify to have a Minyan such as this, because as most of you know, the normal housing arrangements most Israelis live in are apartments or flats as they call them in South Africa. And because each one normally has a balcony, then when you step outside on to the balcony, you can usually see and hear your neighbors very clearly.
With this in mind, this is how we are able to form a Minyan. We have set times to daven for Shacharit, Mincha and Maariv. And because we are so close to each other, it is easy to hear the Baal Tefillah as he leads the davening.
Each of us stands on our balconies, and when we have assembled a Minyan, the davening begins. The Minyan has already become a fixture, and there have slowly been more “Minyan members” joining us from either their balconies, or even on the street. So when the Amidah is said, we all stand and daven in one place and it is truly a sight to see.
Shabbat is now the highlight of the week, especially the singing. Friday night has electricity in the air, as many tunes we sing are the same you would hear in Shul, but with no other way of really letting out our energy during the week, it’s a special treat to be able to hear everyone join in. Shabbat day is also special, because of the many prayers that are sung while we daven together.
And even on Shabbat, we received a Heter for the Torah to be read on a balcony while we all listened. The same goes for the weekday Torah reading as well. And now that Pesach is fast approaching, it will be very special to be able to participate in all the davening for Yom Tov.
I truly hope all of us will be able to daven very soon in a Shul Minyan.
This represents my final Blog until after Pesach. I therefore want to take this opportunity to thank TOI for providing this platform to communicate with all TOI readers, and wish you all a Kosher And Happy Pesach.