Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reaching new heights in shul - By Bentzion Shaffer

Gedaliah and I spent a tremendous amount of time in the Chevra Shaas Shul. Our father took us to minyan for Shacharis, Mincha and Maariv. Often we had a lot of time on our hands to explore.

One time Gedaliah and I were rummaging around in the back office and discovered a cardboard box filled with blueprints for a beautiful full size shule building. We wondered what they were and we were told these were the actual blueprints for the synagogue. The group who started the Shule had planned a magnificent building, but ran out of money before they could erect it. They had built the basement (and there were actually 2 sub-basements below that) and they turned that into the Shul.

Sometimes the services were very long, such as on a Yizkor day or when there was an appeal. Both Gedaliah and I listened very carefully to the Torah reading and to Rabbi Savitsky's speech. But there were other times when things kind of lagged. Such was the case on this particular Sukkos day. The weather was getting cold and the heat had been turned on.

The shul was heated by steam with enormous radiators that had metal covers. Gedaliah, being the scientist that he was, decided to experiment by taking some of the hemp that was wrapped around the esrog, and putting it on top of the radiator. Hot air rises, and the hemp being light, was carried upward. We watched in fascination as it soared heavenward (or at least to the ceiling) then fell and as it did, scattered to all four corners of the shul.

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