The Shul


The Orthodox and Hasidics חסידות , typically use the word "shul," שול which is Yiddish. The word is derived from a German word meaning "school," and emphasizes the synagogue's role as a place of study. Conservative Jews usually use the word "synagogue," which is actually a Greek translation of Beit K'nesset  בית כנסת and means "place of assembly".

In 2008 as part of our 125th celebration Congregation Shomray Hadath decided to make a change and upgrade the facility. New ceilings, new lights, new paint, new carpet, new kitchen, etc. The list goes on and on. What’s not as clear is what if any changes in how we approach Judaism have occurred. Very seldom does one ask the question where were we, where are we now, what has changed and where are we going. 

A theme in Jewish study as well in Jewish households has been for centuries to ask questions. “Why is this night different from all other nights?” It is well known that Abraham questioned G-d, and so did Moses, but when we checked Parsha Sh'mot, our hunch was confirmed that Moses’ first recorded sentence was a question as was his first utterance after G-d spoke at the burning bush. So I have two questions to ask today: What are we doing here? And why is this time different for us at “Congregation Shomray Hadath”.

What we are doing is trying to do something extraordinary, something difficult. We are trying to achieve major goals in the life of an organization and do it without breaking stride in the middle of change.

It has taken us 125 years to make it this far. You may ask what was or is our goal. Our goal is never ending "to make Judaism vibrant in the Twin Tiers and to provide a clean, safe, and beautiful building for everyone to join in celebrating all the wonderful events and holidays that come throughout the year".