I didn’t really expect to find the perfect minyan on my recent business trip to the National Association of Jewish Day Schools. My weekday minyan davens at Neitz. We daven at a good pace. It’s extremely quiet, and because it’s Neitz, the majority of us are literally on the same page throughout the davening.
At about 6:45 am, I went to the lobby and climbed the staircase lodged between the Starbucks and the Avis Rental Car to get to the 7 am Shacharis. The first nice surprise was that it looked like this first minyan would be unified. It was great to see that Achdus trumped the convenience and practically of a minyan factory, often present at other large Jewish Conventions.
As I scouted out for a good seat, I realized that we would be starting Shomoneh Esrai close to Neitz and sure enough the Gabbai soon announced that we would try to hit Neitz at about 7:17. So far so good. However, the 17 minutes from start to Neitz was much shorter than the 24 minutes I was used to So I had to quickly arrive at a strategy of speed and skip so I could comfortably say the Shema and start with the Tzibbur at Neitz.
It was a good minyan, and then I realized it was a great minyan. There was nothing in the time or the speed that was preventing me from davening a focused Pesukei D’Zimra, Shema and Shemoneh Esrai. The only limitation was mine, and Hashem was granting another opportunity to face it. Here was another opportunity to connect to Hashem, right here, right now – no excuses!
I had finally found the perfect minyan and I’m hoping I’ll be able to find it again within me.