I live in a building that is attached to a shul (synagogue). This has some disadvantages (mostly due to bored boys who exit the building without supervision), but there are several advantages as well.
For years, I especially enjoyed living over the shul during the Jewish month of “Elul”. During Elul, in preparation for the days of repentance, there is a custom to blow a shofer immediately after the morning services. (A “shofer” if a trumpet-horn-like instrument made from the horn of an animal (often a Ram). The distinctive trumpting of the shofer-horn rose from the windows of the synagogue, I am knew that the days of introspection were here.
But now Elul is more than half over, and it could be a different month, or so I feel. Why? Because the shul now has air conditioning, the windows are closed, and I don’t hear the shofer at all. I don’t begrudge them their air conditioning; it is so hot that it would be callous to begrudge them that comfort. But I miss the shofer. So in an effort to get into a mood for introspection I am substituting with Rabinical lectures on my MP3 player, but it just doesn’t effect me the way the shofer used to…..