When I was 8 years old I had a unique birthday party. It was celebrated in the daily minyan. I can still recite the names of the attendees by heart, mostly octogenarians who made prayer a daily part of their life. Yet, the minyan was as much about the words in the prayerbook as it was about the relationships built in the pews. We visited each other when we were sick, we celebrated with each other during simcha, and we became a family.
Today, as I sit in our Sinai Temple chapel, almost three decades after that memorable birthday party, I am once again comforted by a daily minyan.
As we begin the Torah, we quickly move from a perfect world in the Garden of Eden to a disturbed world in Noah’s generation. Noah follow’s God’s instructions to build an ark, a haven of safety where the world can be rebuilt. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato teaches that Noah needed to spend a year living inside the ark in order to prepare the foundations of a new world. Let us use our daily minyan as our ark; a place of personal growth, a sacred space where you can begin your day with purity and end your day with holiness.
I have met my best friends at the daily minyan…so can you.