Last week we discussed the unbundling of Shuls and I said that it was unfortunate that so many people were choosing their Shul services a la carte and not davening and supporting a fuller service Shul. In the comments, a reader wrote:
“I understand that there is a benefit to having a one-stop-shop, and knowing that all your needs can be adequately met in one place. But there is also a benefit to being able to go to multiple places and have each individual need being met in an above-adequate manner.”
I think this comment highlights one problem with increased Shul choice, and that is the decision becomes focused primarily on what’s best for the individual. Beyond the financial considerations, Shuls need people to meet the chesed needs of the community. Shuls need people to be a positive influence on others. Shuls need people for friendship and a sense of comradeship.
Perhaps if in addition to the question of “What Shul(s) are best for my needs?”, we asked “In what Shul can I be of most service?”. Where can I help people? Where can I inspire others to grow? Where can I be of service to my community? Maybe there is a downside to Shul choice after all?