It is 9 pm Monday night and I am on a United Airlines flight to San Francisco for the final trip of the last nine days. I will be glad when this whirlwind of 5 trips (New York, Columbus, New York, Saint Louis and San Francisco) finally comes to end. The planning has been stressful, but so far things have worked out fairly well.
On Thursday I had to daven shachris at the local “rocket minyan” in order to make an 8:15 am train to New York. I davened mincha at a 2 pm minyan in a friend’s office in mid-town Manhattan. This enabled me to make an important 4 pm meeting in the Penn Station area. I ended my 4 pm meeting at 5:30 pm so that I could make 6 pm return train which arrived at the BWI rail station in time for me to attend the 10 pm maariv minyan at the Yeshiva.
Friday I davened shachris in Silver Spring. I took a twelve noon flight to Saint Louis which got me into Saint Louis several hours before Shabbos. Alas an easy travel day!
On Saturday night the clock was set back an hour. This means that during the winter months mincha and maariv will often become a challenge for me; for example, on days when I am unable to make either a mid-day mincha and/or a late night maariv and need a combined minyan which will be in the late afternoon very early evening – right smack in the middle of my business day!
Given the time change, Sunday required careful planning. I davened mincha at MTI, the local Chofetz Chaim yeshiva affiliate, in the very early afternoon. I returned on a 3:30 pm flight instead of an evening flight so that I would be back in time to make the 10 pm maariv. As things turned out I couldn’t fly to San Francisco from Saint Louis because the only available flights would have caused me either to miss either shachris or both mincha and maariv. So instead I decided to return Sunday night to Washington DC where I was able to daven maariv Sunday night, shachris Monday morning and mincha mid-day in the Agudah minyan downtown before leaving for the airport. Maariv on Monday was not possible due to the flight schedule so I learned a mishna at the end of mincha and recited an extra kaddish at that time.
Tuesday in San Francisco will clearly be a challenge. I found a downtown Chabad shachris minyan which I am told is 99% “reliable”. I sure hope so. I have only one chance for a mincha minyan and my ability to make it is totally dependent on finishing a business meeting early and driving back (a 1 hour drive) to San Francisco from Dublin, California in time to make this “Cable Car” (yes, that is what it is called!) minyan at 3:30 pm in downtown SF. I still have not been able to locate a maariv minyan. I am taking a red eye back to IAD tonight and that should make it possible for me to say kaddish at the 8:30 am minyan at YISE.