Shul has always been a battleground of contradictions, a place we visit daily, yet we know little about. A lightning rod of great spiritual power, yet a hot spot for small talk. A site foremost in so many minds nowadays, yet closed to so many people.
Now more than ever, the synagogue is a quintessential Jewish enigma — caught in the struggle between what it is and what it could be. But with our unprecedented exile from shuls as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, we have reached what could be a turning point in this conflict; a hiatus offering us the chance to engage in the soul-searching that will help us redefine ourselves and our relationship to shul.
With Hashem’s help, we will all return to shul, but to which shuls? Our shuls as we knew them, or our shuls as they could be — places that ennoble, inspire and uplift us?
During this unique opportunity to transform ourselves and our shuls, one of the most powerful tools at our disposal is studying the halachos relating to shuls; these are replete with the deep insight of Chazal into what shuls really are, and the holiness and spiritual power we can experience in them.
Join Chaim, Bernie, and the rest of the eclectic cast of daveners at Congregation Shomrei Shabbos as they embark on a thought provoking, sometimes amusing and always informative, journey of discovery about shul, tefillah, and themselves — and about the many halachic issues that come into play when we step into shul.
Arranged in 110 daily lessons covering a broad array of the halachos most relevant to the shul experience, Revere My Sanctuary: A Guide to Honoring the Shul will help prepare you to do just that.