Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fratricide / synagogue informality

It is sad to see the fratricide within the Republican primary.The only saving grace is the fact that 3 years ago Hillary and Obama were at each others throats,and yet the Dems won.
In addition the enthusiasm of Republican voters in Fla was shown by a marked increase in early voting.Despite a shorter period for early voting,here in Palm Beach County there was about a 30% increase over 4 years ago.

During my career as an activist, I have been priviledged to vist with 3 Presidents,PM's, Kings and other leaders of governments.During each and every one of these meetings,I never witnessed a member of our delegations who did not come with a suit,regular shirt,tie,socks and regular shoes.
When we enter a Synagogue to pray to G-d,,especially on the Sabbath,we are coming to appeal to the maker of the universe.If we dress for a human leader and for the 'kavod'(honor) of a high office how much more so should we appear in synagogue dressed to represent our sense of awe and respect for the dignity of the Bet KNESSET(SYNAGOGUE)
When I was a young man,going out on a date,it was the custom to wear a suit or sport jacket.Today in the age of informality jeans, sneakers, no socks are not unusual.
Sadly this motif has been transferred to our synagogues .I have not taken a poll of synagogues in the South,however the warm climate seems to present to worshippers a greater sense of informality.The shul near us has more than a few coming for services in shorts.
To have leaders in the synagouge lead services,read the torah ,stand by the bimah,make announcements in a country-club attire,sans jacket and ties is not in the formal spirit that I would like to sorround myself with as I converse with my maker.We see polo shirts,sweaters, no socks,beach shoes -sandals for men and women.These perhaps represent a minority,however few are disturbed by this sartorial ( or lack of it) approach.
I am not advocating tuxedos or black suits etc,rather business attire as though one had been invited to the White House to speak to the President. and perhaps appeal to him on behalf of the Jewish People.Isn't that what we do in synagogue-for ourselves and our people.?
Perhaps I AM AN OLD FUDDY-DUDDY, however the KAVOD due the synagogue is absent, and to me is not only important in halacha(Jewish law) but how we train our children and grandchildren.