Last Monday – Tuesday was my final trip while saying kaddish. We drove to Newark Airport to pick up our kids from St Louis and spent two wonderful days as tourists in New York City. We went to see all the sites, e.g. the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building etc. that I never went to as an indigenous New Yorker! It was great fun. Of course Kaddish required the usual planning and logistics.
We stayed in the Times Square area and originally I though Chabad on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street would be the perfect shul to attend. After checking on line I found that Chabad did not have a maariv minyan and its shachris minyan was too late in the morning to accommodate our schedule. I started checking shuls on the upper West Side and was about set to go to OZ on 95th Street when I remembered that Lincoln Square was in the sixties. So I hopped on a cab at about 630 Pm on Monday and went to the new Lincoln Square Synagogue building on Amsterdam Avenue and 68th Street. Two New York City policeman were standing guard at the front doors and a security guard was sitting at a desk at the entry. He motioned me to the main sanctuary. The shul is absolutely magnificent.
Mincha and maariv were held in the main sanctuary with a mixture of locals and visitors attending. When the minyan concluded, I Ubered to Mr. Broadway where my family had begun eating. The restaurant was bustling. From the packed tables and the extensive menu it was barely discernible that it was Passover.
Tuesday morning I returned to Lincoln Square for the first minyan at 7 am. The main doors were locked. I rang the bell and the security guard opened the door. This minyan was held in the beis medrash on the second floor. As I entered the beis medrash I could hear a group studying the daf yomi in the women’s section. When they concluded they recited a kaddish derabbanon which I joined as it was an extra “insurance kaddish” for the day. The minyan was clearly attended by “regulars”. I overhead two gentleman discussing how the Young Israel of the West Side had so many members leave the city for the holiday that it did not have services on the first days of the holiday! In any event, the minyan was quite efficient (not to fast, not to slow) and at 8 am I returned to my hotel to start the day as a tourist in the Big Apple.
Mincha maariv on Tuesday was a bit of a challenge. We left New York City at 6:15 pm after an early dinner. My wife suggested that I catch a minyan on the way home in Elizabeth which was a great idea – except that New York city traffic, particularly Lincoln Tunnel traffic, prevented me from making it on time. So I called an audible, got in touch with a friend and asked him to say kaddish for me at mincha, and drove as fast as I could for as long as I could to make the 10 pm maariv minyan in Silver Spring. Without a minute to spare I made it and sighed a sigh of relief.
A fitting end to my final saying kaddish travel.