More on BJ

Sometimes I get frustrated, say things, and don’t take them to their actual sensical conclusion. Which is what I’m sure happened with my recent post on B’nai Jeshurun. Then a friend e-mailed to explain what I meant to say.

Essentially, this person agreed that they had a similar experience at BJ. What they said, and, as it turns out, what I think I meant to say, is that a good aesthetic is nice. It can pull people in and even help keep them there. But, BJ, this person noted, doesn’t offer much beyond the great aesthetic, despite, as this person noted, a great congregational devotion to social justic.

Thank God other people put together what I mean to say. Sometimes I get too caught up in the minutiae of davening to remember the real purpose of the whole exercise.

2 Responses to More on BJ

  1. jepaikin December 30, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    I’m still somewhat confused as to what you mean by no substance… are you saying that the shul doesn’t mean what they pray?

  2. davidamwilensky December 31, 2008 at 6:44 am #

    No, not at all. I mean that the reason people come is the aesthetic. As Billy said, it’s fine for a beautiful music to be the initial draw, but that can’t be the end of it. When the supposedly intellectual portion of the service is nonsense, something is lacking. The service fed my eyes and ears, but not my mind.