“When the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had granted him safety from all the enemies around him, ” (א) “the king said to the prophet Nathan: ‘Here I am dwelling in a house of cedar, while the Ark of the LORD abides in a tent!’” (ב) (translations from Sefaria)
Twenty-seven years ago, HANC extended its Uniondale building. Part of the original plan was to build a new Beis Medrash with the idea of using it as a shul. Although we know that there’s a Beis Medrash on the second floor, the planned Beis Medrash was never built. Seemingly, the plan was to put it outside the new wing by the back doors.
Since this Beis Medrash/ shul was never built, we daven in the library, classrooms, and the gym. This is just like the pesukim brought above. Although most of us don’t view HANC as a palace, the places where we daven are like tents. We mainly use them for other purposes, and this diminishes the Kedusha. According to Rabbi Friedler, being in a room that’s designated solely as a Makom Tefillah, “that itself– your surroundings– will lead to more of an atmosphere [of] the Kedusha of davening.” It’s time to do something about this.
People may complain, “We’re good with the system we have,” or, “Building a shul will just be a lot more work, and it’ll cost too much.” Therefore, here’s a list of pros, cons, and solution proposals:
Having a place that’s designated solely as a Makom Tefilla will be much more respectful to the Aron and the Sifrei Torah.
It will enhance our Tefillos.
People who start davening early or finish late (hopefully) won’t have to deal with as many distractions as they would with the current system.
The Ashkenazim can keep their tefillin there.
It seems costly.
What would happen to the minyanim? Would they all merge? Would only one take the shul?
Rabbi Friedler informed me that there are two places in Far Rockaway– a yeshiva and a shul– that combined five or six trailers, which are much cheaper than building a permanent structure, and they converted them into beautiful shuls. We could do the same thing.
Where would we get the money? We can ask alumni for donations, and maybe we can have a donation box in school.
If we go with the trailers, we could make the shul big enough for all of the minyanim and put moveable walls between them.
There’s even a halacha in the קיצור שולחן ערוך:
„אם בנה בית תפילה, יהיה נאה מבית ישיבתו.‟
“If someone builds a Beis Tefillah, it should be nicer than his dwelling place.”
For most of us, HANC is a second home. The gym isn’t exactly the nicest place, and we can offer something nicer than classrooms as מקומי תפילה. Therefore, we should build a shul.
In honor and memory of Rabbi Moshe Gottesman זצ’’ל, Rabbi Friedler suggested a very fitting name for it: “בית משה” ❬The House of Moshe❭.
“HANC is a yeshiva. A yeshiva needs a place to daven, not a gym.” (Rabbi Friedler)