Unlike the 700 member, 10-15 aliyos mega-service at the YI of Woodmere, our Shul typically has about 100 men, 7+1 aliyos, and a 8:30-10:45 davening, with a drasha, on Shabbos. So it was with a little trepidation that we prepared for what was coined the “Shabbos of Brocha”. It started with a graduation kiddush and Rabbi Avrohom Stulberger from LA as our Scholar-in-Residence. Then we added an Aufruf. Then a Shalom Zucker. And finally it was topped off by the brisim of twins.
We were filled with joy, but we were also concerned for an overflow into the space and time continuums. How crowded would it be with all the guests and how long would the davening be with the extra Scholar in Residence drasha, the Rav’s drasha for the aufruf, and the two brisim.
On the space frontier, we enlisted a few more seat gabbaim, prepared the hallways with extra folding chairs, and sent a heads up email to the membership, reiterating our no-makom-kavua policy for simchas. We also advised people to get their early, if possible. As it turned out, seating was not an issue. Some members davened elsewhere. In addition, the Bris guests did not realize the first bris would be before Mussaf and the second bris after davening, and many came after davening was over, unfortunately missing one of the brisim.
On the time continuum, Rabbi Stulberger made great use of the 8-10 minutes he was allotted for his drasha. The davening was sped up slightly. There were only 2 extra aliyos. The misheberachs were said quickly and the gabbaim were on there toes to preventing any unnecessary schlepping. And they succeeded! We were enjoying cholent and kugel at the kiddush by about 11:30 am.
As a member said afterwards, it was like preparing for Hurricane Gloria and it never came. Nonetheless everyone agreed that it’s always wise to make sure you have a big enough cup to handle all your brochos.