Usually, we like to go a little later so that basically we are there for about an hour and a half of services.
That's about my attention span and then I start to get claustrophobic and antsy.
(BTW, some friends that go to Church told me that they have the same experience.)
But the last two weeks something changed...(no, not me).
Last week in Maryland, we went to synagogue and the people were standing in front with the Ark open and I thought wow they are way ahead and are finished with Torah reading and are putting the Torahs away already.
But after a moment, I realized they were only just taking out the Torahs for the weekly reading, and we were actually earlier than usual.
When I inquired in synagogue why they were behind schedule, I learned that to get people there for more of the services, they had decided to start later.
Ah, it's a trick!
This week in Florida, I went to the Chabad shule and we were running late (hey, it's vacation) about 10:45 and thought shule would almost be over, but they were just in the morning prayers still, and there wasn't even a minyan yet.
Two places, two synagogues, two weeks and they are changing the start times...
Seems smart from their perspective to try and get people there and for more of the services, but for the people who just want to come for a certain amount or parts of the service, isn't this just going to cause people to come even later in an endless cat and mouse game.
Start later, come later, start later, come later...
I'm no Rabbi, but how about a serious focused service--ONE solid hour (plus)--full of REAL kavanah (concentration), meaning, and sincerity, and everyone comes on time?
Start on time, come on time--really pray (no talking please)!
And still plenty of time for socializing and bonding after services at the yummy Kiddish.
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Brian Smithson)