As part of the End of Year Minyan Buddy Siyyum, the Kitah Zayin students wrote short essays expressing what they learned, their feelings about the past year of weekly Sunday time together with their Minyan buddies and their appreciation of their teacher, Barbara, and the other guest presenters that came into the class throughout the year. Below are excerpts from their essays:
“Every Sunday morning I walk in to the social hall and am greeted by 5 of some of my best friends. They are all putting on t’fillin and prepping for minyan. This mentally puts me in minyan mode. Minyan mode for me is putting on t’fillin, praying and participating in discussions that we have.
While putting on t’fillin I feel a kind of joy and excitement. My joy in putting on t’fillin is that it gives me pride for who I am and what I believe in, but it also is reminding me that I need to calm down because I am about to go in to services.” -Dov Bearman
“Thank you David, for teaching me so wisely about the service. Thank you for always having a smile on your face when I arrived to minyan each day. You were always there early enough to greet me. This made me feel welcome each and every Sunday. I think that it was really cool to be partnered up with someone who had just been through this last year because you know what I was going through and had recently been through the Sunday morning minyan services. It gave me a whole new experience, then what I could have had. I learned that in the minyan buddy process you have a mentor/teacher that helps you understand and get through the service which really helps. In life, the same thing is true. If you have a mentor/teacher, you can better understand what you are trying to learn/be taught. Thank you for being my mentor/teacher, and for helping me understand the service on a deeper level.” -Jason Koweek
“I enjoy minyan because I like helping make a minyan for someone saying Kaddish. My favorite prayer in minyan is Ozi. I like it because I know all the words to it and it sounds beautiful when everyone is singing. I also like the teachings after the service that Rabbi Greyber shares with us. The hints he gave us about trope really help my Veyahavta sound better. Thank you, Rabbi Greyber! I would also like to thank Jared, who taught us to lay t’fillin and who told us stories and made us laugh. When I first learned how to lay t’fillin I was slow, but then I got faster with practice, and when we timed each other I almost beat Jared. He made learning fun and enjoyable. I really like knowing how to lay t’fillin because it was the way I started my Sunday mornings. I would wake up, get in the car, go to shul and put t’fillin on. It was what I got used to. I really appreciated the peacefulness I felt when I arrived for minyan every Sunday.” -Qiuhu Louie
“For many years it was never my favorite thing to go to Sunday School. But this year has been different, each Sunday I would come into Minyan with my class and we would all put on our tefillin and hurry into the main sanctuary. I would always go to the front and sat with Harlin. Each time he would ask me a question or tell me something interesting about the translations. At first I thought I was supposed to come up with an answer but then I realized these were wonderings that weren’t supposed to have just one answer. I will take those with me through the rest of my life.” -Adam Kirsch
Thank you so much for all the help you gave me. When I first started out minyan, I was not happy to be there. I was tired and wanted to go back home and sleep. Then I found out that my minyan buddy was my very favorite “peanut,” Libby. You helped me out during the service and guided me along. When we wondered what the meaning of something was, we figured it out together. You would always ask me questions and wanted to know what I thought about everything. I am beyond grateful that you were always there for me during minyan. You were the best buddy that I could ever ask for.” -Sophie Breitzer