A Tale of Two Minutes

In a recent post, titled Positively Powerful Prayer, I mentioned my short speech at the end of my 11th month of Aveilus. In that speech I encouraged the members of my weekday Naitz minyan to tell the Gabbai that they agreed with his proposition to start our davening two minutes early to be able to say Berachos and Pesukei D’Zimra a little slower.

As it turned out a number of members did speak to the Gabbai and the decision was made to extend the davening by two minutes. I knew from my Shul experience that the nays usually speak louder and active encouragement was needed to get the yays to speak.

The date for the new davening times was set for the 2nd of Nissan or Sunday, March 22nd. It was the day before the Yahrzeit of my father, which I initially thought was on the Monday, the 3rd of Nissan. However, this past Shabbos, the Gabbai Shlishi in my Shabbos Shul, EH, told me that the Shul database had my father’s Yahrzeit listed as Moatzae Shabbos, the 2nd of Nissan.

I checked with my Rav and he informed me that if the burial (kevurah) is 2 or more Hebrew calendar days after the death, then the Yahrzeit in the first year is on the day of burial. If the burial is 1 hebrew calendar day or less within the death, then the first Yahrzeit is on the day of the death. Since the burial in my case was 1 Hebrew calendar day, the first Yahrzeit was on the 2nd of Nisan.

I informed the Naitz minyan Gabbai that I had made a mistake and my father’s Yahrzeit was on Sunday. He said the Amud was mine. After davening, the Gabbai said it was fitting that I davened from the Amud on the first day of our 2 minute extended davening. He mentioned that he had wanted to extend the times, but he was encouraged to propose the move as a result of discussions we had on improving the davening in our minyan. He also mentioned how my appeal to members resulted in a number of people telling the Gabbai they approved of the proposal.

It’s only 2 minutes, but it does make a difference. And that difference will be felt by the approximately 20 people who come on time each day. It comes to over 12,000 minutes of extra davening a year and some of that merit will accrue to my father as a result of my involvement in the davening in his memory. It’s encouraging to see Hashem’s hand helping our efforts to increase the spiritual sensitivity of our Shuls.