Tuesday, September 23, 2008

High Holidays Are High Stress


For many Jews, especially right out of college, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur represent the only days we may set foot in a synagogue.

But between deciding on going home to be with family, missing partial or whole days of work or classes, and figuring out just where to go for a service that you connect with, the Chagim can be pretty stressful.

An interesting article from the Boston Globe entitled, "Jewish High Holidays Come at a High Cost" examines the position of Young Yids in Boston who scramble to find an affordable seat for services. Shout out to GesherCity for coming off strong in the article. Does anyone know if they organize things similarly here?

While St. Louis may not put the same financial pressures on us young adults, the search for the right spiritual experience can be daunting.

Do I go reform, for something a little more laid back and egalitarian, but risk a campy or hippy atmosphere at best, some things I'm not convinced are part of the liturgy at worst?

Do I go Frum/Ortho, pass up the opportunity to admire our female co-coreligionists in their High-Holyday best, as well as deal with entirely too much Hebrew?

Should I shoot in the middle and try to hit up a conservative service, despite it being West of 270, the barrier beyond which urban Yids feel lost and confused?

There is always trusty Hillel, with its hordes of Wash U students, Rabbinical students, and on-campus parking issues.

Then there is the whole issue of how much time to take off of work. If I can make it to services and still put in a few hours in the office, I don't have to take a full vacation day, and I'll only feel half as guilty.

Unfortunately with the timing this year, I won't be able to make it back to the chavurah in the 513, so I'm left trying to figure out how to make the most of High Holidays in St. Louis

For everyone else in the same situation, click here for a listing of synagogues and services.
and let me know where you think all the other young Yids will be gettin' spiritual.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Two important corrections:

1. In St. Louis pretty much any shule will give you a seat or two for free especially if you can show a student ID or are under the age of 28 and express some interest in becoming a regular visitor. Synagogues are hurting for members in our age bracket, and they will do whatever it takes to bring us in. Plus, this is St. Louis, so odds are you know someone who's mom or aunt or brother in law is on the synagogue board and can pull some strings for you.

2. There ARE conservative shules for us city folk. And as a long time St. Louis resident, I find it particularly insulting that B’nai Amoona gets all the lip service just because it's bigger. Both BSKI and Shaare Zedek offer wonderful services and are located east of Lindbergh. And no matter where you go - if you want a host family, just call the shule, they have a list of families who like hosting us young 'uns.

shana tova