On the street above me, there are two shuls. Both were built as attachments onto private homes. One of them is home to the local Kolleh Chatzot, where people come to learn all night, every night. The other one is not a beit midrash, just a shul, but it is the davening home to a very nice group of people. Its official name is “Ateret Reichnian” (???? ???????) but everyone calls it “Sabbah Shimon’s” (since it is built as an attachment to Sabbah Shimon’s house).
They are pretty hardcore Sefardi, and as I have been davening Mincha/Maariv there pretty consistently since making aliyah, I have learned alot about the Sefardi nusach and davening customs (more on that in another post). Right now I would like to share some of the things that happened after Shabbat mincha this week that you probably wont see in any Young Israel any time soon:
- Carrying the torah to the bimah holding it open so that everyone can see and then doing hagba’ha before Torah reading
- After davening, books of Tehillim (25 small pamphlets, each have a few perakim, covering the entire book of Tehillim) were distributed. Everyone stayed after davening (the 1:15pm minyan) for a few minutes to say some tehillim for the sick and injured.
- After the Tehillim, food was brought out. watermellon (ha’adama), grapes (ha’eitz), cookies (mezonot) and soda (shehakol). This was in order that people be able to make more berachot (since one is required to say 100 berachot every day, and one cannot do this on Shabbat through just the normal davening, one is require to supplement one’s beracha regimen in order to meet the quota), hear berachot and say amen (gotta have 100 amen’s too!) and have in mind the neshamot of the deceased and the injured and sick in Israel so that they may benefit from the merit of our berachot.