Issue #28 – Our Street Minyan

Posted on Posted in All Articles, Down Syndrome and Congenital Heart Defects

Yitty G. -Age 17

There is something about Friday night that makes it a beautiful night. In addition, it is the only day of the week that I get to visit my neighbors across the courtyard that separates the two rows of houses in our development. And every week, without fail, I get to witness the special sight of Moishey Sander coming home from shul. He stops at the door, puts his hand gently on the mezuzah and gives it a loving kiss. This thirty-second weekly encounter strikes a chord deep inside of me every week anew. When I observe his tenderness to that which is real, it gets me to ponder what actually matters.

In these trying and tragic times, like little beacons of light, shine our nation’s truest colors. The age-old adage ‘ah Yid gebt zeech an eitzah’ is manifested in countless new initiatives, primarily the minyanim on porches. The elderly and vulnerable can stay safe and social distancing can be practiced, while never compromising on davening with minyan.

When a minyan began in our development’s courtyard and surrounding porches I felt certain that the only thing it would mean to me would be the recital of ‘Amein, Yehei Shmei Rabba’, something I rarely get the chance to say. However, as I stepped out of my house, onto our porch, I saw how badly I was mistaken.

There stood Moishey, his eyes rooted to his siddur, braving the cold. I stared in awe at his obvious sincerity. His total immersion in the davening was a sight to behold and solidified my long-standing belief in his close connection to his Creator, personified in the weekly mezuzah ritual. I watched as he bent toward his younger brother seeking help with the sefira counting, and marveled at how adamant he is to be included in everything, despite his limitations. When Moishey was honored with ‘hagbah’ (raising of the Torah), nothing could compare to the look of pure joy that radiated from his countenance. It was so subtle, yet so poignant.

When I walked back into the house, I wasn’t the same. I had a lot on my mind…and heart.

I strongly believe that if anyone has the power to bring salvation to us with their tefillos, it is these pure people.