Colorado Springs, CO – Messianic synagogue, Congregation Beth David, was left reeling this weekend when long-time member Samuel Weinberg took a rare vacation to attend a family reunion in California, sources report.
“I had no idea,” said dance leader Rebekah Morris. “In the back of my mind I always knew Sam did a lot behind the scenes, but I guess I never realized just how crucial he was until that horrible service.”
According to those who attended the service, the trouble was apparent from the moment congregants entered the sanctuary. “I didn’t even know they take the chairs down during the week,” said Stu Weiss, one of the first members to arrive. “But apparently they do, because whoever put them back out didn’t have the first clue what they were doing. There was this one huge section – each row must have been about 12 chairs long, and one end of it was against the wall, so the people on the far end had no easy way out. And the other section was facing the complete wrong way, so you had to crane your neck to see the bimah. It was awful.”
By all accounts, things only deteriorated further once the service started. The projector malfunctioned, and without Sam to fix it, the praise and worship service became a muddled mess as people struggled to sing along to the upside-down slides. The Torah service then ground to a halt as Rabbi Michael Rosenthal was forced to spend about 15 minutes rolling the scroll to the right passage. During that time, the children who had been dismissed minutes earlier, came back into the sanctuary, informing their parents that the Shabbat school room was locked and there was no teacher. And at the after-service oneg, everyone was dismayed to learn that the delicious chili, normally the highlight of the meal, was yet another of Sam’s unsung contributions.
“All I can say is, I’m never coming to another service if Sam isn’t here,” said Morris. “That mess with the projector threw off the praise and worship so badly that the songs were just about impossible to dance to. I nearly twisted my ankle. I swear, never again.” Her sentiments were echoed by several other members, all of whom had their own mishaps to recount.
“I got stuck in one of the giant rows, on the end up against the wall,” complained Marty Stein. “I had to go to the bathroom for half the service, but getting out of there would have been way too disruptive. By the time the service was over I thought I was going to explode.”
“My kids can’t sit still through one of Rabbi Rosenthal’s messages,” said Cathy Meyer. “We tried to tough it out, but five minutes after they came back up they started throwing a fit, so we had to leave early. At the time I was really upset that I wouldn’t get any of that wonderful chili they always have at the oneg, but from what I hear I guess that turned out not to be the biggest issue anyway.”
At press time, the Rabbi, staff and congregants were in the midst of an emergency prayer meeting, praying urgently for the swift and safe return of Mr. Weinberg.
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