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Calling All Minyan People!

02/18/2022 12:51:02 PM

Feb18

Rabbi Benjamin Samuels

In 1987, a seventeen year old high school student named Victor Shine penned a poignant folk song called “Minyan Man.” It describes a small town Orthodox minyan whose 10th man had recently passed away. Then, unexpectedly, a Jewish visitor rolls into town, becoming the “minyan man,” bringing new life to the old shul. Shine sent his demo (click here) to his friend Lenny Solomon, founder of the band Shlock Rock. Lenny rearranged the song as a pop ballad, and a Jewish “cult-hit” was born (click here for the Maccabeats version). “Minyan Man” became a favorite at Jewish camps, at kumsitzen, day school choirs (click here), and was even covered by the Australian Jewish punk-rock band Yidcore (click here, starts at 7:58).

Why has “Minyan Man” been so popular? I believe it is because fundamentally everyone recognizes that without a reliable daily minyan, a community is less a wellspring, and more a drying channel. Barukh Hashem, we have our regular minyanaires who uphold our daily minyan. This week, however, an inordinate number of them will be traveling out of town. This morning, we did not have a minyan at Shul for the first time in a very long while.

Shaarei men and teenage boys - if you are in town this week, please arrange your schedule to help make our daily morning and evening minyanim. We are relying on you.

Shaarei women and teenage girls - we have women who come daily to say kaddish. Although we rely on men for our minyan quorum, there is no question that women’s participation is integral to our avodah (sacred service through prayer) at Shaarei.

Here’s the chorus of “Minyan Man,” with which I conclude this message:

I asked the man I saw how many Jews in this town
He said to me there used to be a minyan around
But one of us passed away and we've been feeling down
Yet now it seems as though another Jew has been found
Oh won’t you stay with us for Shabbos Minyan Man.

Shabbat Shalom, Tizku LeMitzvot, and an enjoyable President’s Day week, Rav Benjie

Thu, May 19 2022 18 Iyyar 5782