Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Unrealistic Expectations?

Big Bro #2 and I were talking on Shabbos when he mentioned a conversation that took place in shul. "During davening? I never talk in shul," I said, perhaps expressing disbelief in the fact that my very own big bro would have the audacity to talk in shul.

"Well, if you were there every day, you would be talking, too," he replied. This exchange reminded me of a conversation I'd had with some friends a while back, regarding expectations when it comes to husbands.

While they thought missing minyan once in a while was inexcusable, I wanted to agree with them whole-heartedly, but I found it difficult. They even backed it up with anecdotal evidence of guys who will do all but put their lives on the line to attend a minyan.

Granted, davening with a minyan is not my mitzvah. So perhaps it could be easy to demand that of someone else.

"It's their mitzvah, they better be darn sure to make their way to shul every day, three times a day!" One friend said. I repeat. I wanted to agree with her.

But I thought about it honestly. If it were my mitzvah, would I be there on time every day knowing that I have to be at work at 9? Would I jump out of my office on a rainy day to run into another building for a minyan in Manhattan? Or would I just daven b'yechidus?

If I were there three times a day every day since age 13, would I treat it with the same reverence I do the few times I go to shul annually? Can I guarantee that I wouldn't consider shul a drudgery at a certain point? Nobody knows for sure.

If that's the case, do I have a right to demand more from a potential spouse?