Subtitle: Why I love independant minyanim
Have you ever been praying and felt totally disconnected from the person at the front of the room and subsequently just totally checked out? I have and I hate it. I like to feel like I’m actively engaged in the whole process. That my presence in the services counts for something making it worth my showing up to communal prayer despite the whole not obligated to it thing. I can daven (pray) at home and get as much from it as going to most places I have available for communal prayer.
However, there is one place I can go where I always feel like I count. Not literally counting in a minyan, but that my presence is valued and valuable. And not only me personally, but every person who is in the room for any given service. Without fail, I feel this way every time I show up for an independent minyan. Whether I know everyone or no one, I know that my presence is appreciated and I can get a little bit more out of the experience.
Judaism is a religion of action, and in an independent minyan, everyone has to act. Be it leading services, leyning, giving the d’var torah, helping with set-up or singing along with the davening – you are that much more involved in the act of that service. Every voice is heard, literally and figuratively. Every person has something to contribute, and the community is enhanced by each person’s unique background. Without clergy directing the experience, it becomes deeply personal and reflective of all of those backgrounds and unique skills.
I am so grateful to have been a part of multiple independent minyanim in my past and look forward to hopefully being a part of more as our journey continues changing our physical location. I know wherever I land, if I can find an independent minyan, I’ll be at home and engaged in my davening. I’m no sure I can ask for anything more.