Rosh Hashana davening

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    This is the first year where as I am not able to go to shul for Rosh Hashana davening being that my baby is 10 month old. Anyone have any suggestions on how I can still have a spirtual and uplifting Rosh Hashana without going to shul to daven?

    Abba bar Aristotle

    R’ Yisroel Salanter did not come to shul one year for Kol Nidrei. After davening, it was discovered that he had passed a house and heard a baby crying incessantly. He knocked on the door to inquire whether everything was alright and no-one came to the door. So he entered the house and found the baby left alone while the parents went to shul.

    R’ Yisroel picked up the baby and held it until the parents came home. Apparently, R Yisroel felt that in that situation, holding the baby was more “spiritually uplifting” than going to Kol Nidrei.

    The most spiritually uplifting thing that we can do is what Hashem wants us to do in a given situation.

    YW Moderator-42

    I heard a similar story where he came late to Kol Nidrei and he said that he had heard a Jew crying from hunger so stopped to feed him.


    Daven while your baby naps, as you will be able to concentrate then. I find it hard to daven with proper kavana and keep an eye on my kids at the same time.

    While you are playing with and feeding your baby keep in mind that THIS is what Hashem wants you to be doing. Don’t feel bad or guilty that you can’t be in shul, and you should have a beautiful yom tov. Good luck and welcome to motherhood!


    While feeding your baby keep in mind you are raising the next generation of hashems army.

    am yisrael chai

    -Is it possible to go to a neighborhood that has an eruv?

    -Can you listen online to shiurim on tshuva?

    -Can you share “babysitting duty” with another mom in a similar situation so that both moms can take turns going to shul?

    Btw, I’ve NEVER heard of the variation stated above..

    The kehila waited for the rav to come, but the rav was delayed when hearing a baby cry. The rav tended to the baby’s needs. When finished, the rav continued to shul which is when Kol Nidre began.

    m in Israel

    Your feelings are very common. Despite the fact that we know intellectually that once you BH have a family your avodas Hashem is very different then the more direct “spiritual experiences” you’ve been having until now, it is very hard emotionally and psychologically to make that switch. Depending on your baby’s schedule, you can certainly daven most of the davening at home. Also try to have around material on inyanai deyoma that you can read. If you have someone who you can swap time with so that each of you watch the other one’s kids for part of the time so that both of you can get to shul that’s great, but keep in mind that your main obligation at this point is not to be in shul.

    An idea that I heard from Rabbi Ellis, shlita that I found very insightful is the concept that much of what we consider “spiritual experiences” (his term was “d’veikus bahashem”) is actually regesh — emotion. While regesh is definitely an important tool in avodas hashem, it is not innately spiritual — the ONLY way in this world to access true spirituality is to do what Hashem has told us to do. It is very helpful to remind yourself that what you are lacking on Rosh Hashana is the emotional experience of davening in shul — but not in any way are you lacking in your connection to Hashem, which comes as a result of doing his ratzon. It is now your job to try to access the same fulfillment without the aid of the “regesh” that helped you until now.

    Good Luck!

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