Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our synagogue

Todays Palm Beach Post had a page one story entitled "Jewish services in home irk neighbors".It os the story of our Congregation Anshei Chesed in Boynton Beach FL.
Despite legal obstacles placed in our way,we have followed the law,and conduct Shabbat services.
The story begins "every weekend a group of well dressed people walk...The women wear hats,the men yarmulkes,and prayer shawls.As residents mow their lawns and wash their boats the orthodox Jews enter a house..They hold their service in the home.About two hours later they walk home.."
Absent is any mention of cars,noise,music destruction of property or any aother reason to oppose our presence except it is "inappropriate".I could think of a more "political"term.
They have tried every means to stop us,however the 2001 Religious Land Use bill prevents discrimination againt religious practices.
Today, in the middle of our Musaf service, the bell rang.One of the neighbors came over to tell us that the complainers were a minority,and most were proud to have us in the area.Furthermore,if we needed her driveway for shabbat,we were free to use it.Another neighbor, a Cuban who greets me often as I walk to schul,tells me the same thing.
There are good people everywhere,and there are likewise bigots amongst us.
I invite people looking for an Ashkenazic minyan, in a growing community that is Zionist and Modern Orthodox to consider Boynton.
At the end of the day it was a non-story.The Post,which over the last 2 years has wtitten about this a few times,had no legitimate reason to put this on the National News page,except to highlight one neighbors frustration.
As our lawyer is quoted "Well tough,you have to have these people in your neighborhood.It's the American way."