The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"If You Want Quiet, Go To A Church".

Yesterday afternoon, one of my friends had an encounter with visitors from another shul who had come to our shul to listen to the Rebbe's afternoon hashkafah shiur and stayed for mincha.

They started talking at the beginning of mincha and simply didn't stop.

Now, it is well known that our shul is "the no-talking shul". Over the years, especially in the early days, many people made fun of us (noting that our membership application included the requirement that members sign a no-talking pledge) and others envied us. Many accused us of being rude (the old Aishhhh Kodeshhhhh line) while trying to maintain decorum (and there was certainly a handful of kanaim who were rude in the early days). But, at the end of the day, most people respected us and some even tried to copy us. But I digress.

In any event, my friend politely tried a couple of times to get our visitors to stop talking, to no avail. Finally, he klopped on his shtender and made a 'finger-to-the-mouth' gesture, hoping that this would get their attention.

It did. One of the talkers wagged his finger at my friend and said, "If you want quiet, go to a church".

What can you say to that?



  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger Still Wonderin' said…

    "What can you say to that?"

    My experience has been that it's impossible to say say anything while your head implodes.

    (In my old shul, a guy once said to a shusher, "If you don't like talking, then why do you daven here?")

  • At 2:31 AM, Blogger Fern said…

    Ehhh, the talkative guy has obviously never been to a church. I can't believe he had not only so little self control, but also so little shame.

  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't get it...I observed 2 guys talking throughout the Selichos davening on Sat. night. Why make the effort to come to Shul? Going to a movie would have been better!

  • At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There is nothing you can say to someone who "doesn't get it"

  • At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Bob Miller said…

    I've been in shul during a recitation of the famous Mi Shebeirach of the Tosfos Yom Tov that blesses the non-talkers. Some talkers took the opportunity to chat about the Mi Shebeirach!

    Here is a translation by Mordechai Perlman of Ner Yisroel Yeshiva of Toronto that I found on the Web:
    “The One who blessed our fathers; Avraham, Yitzchok, and Yaakov, Moshe, and Aharon, Dovid and Shlomo; He should bless everyone who guards his mouth and tongue from talking during davening. Hashem should protect him from every trouble and distress, from every plague and illness; and all the blessing of the Torah, Nevi’im and K’suvim should rest upon him; and he should merit to have children who will live and last (presumably not die in childbirth); and he should be able to raise them to Torah, Chupa,
    and good deeds; and he should be able to serve Hashem our G-d always with truth and sincerity, and we should say Amen.”

  • At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I witnessed this a few weeks ago on a friday night: Three people in front of me talking non-stop, bothering the people behind me, who started complaining amongst themselves about how rude it is for people to talk in shul, not realizing that their complaining was just was jarring as the people about who they were complaining. I didn't have the guts to shush either the folks in front or behind me and just sat sandwiched between these two annoying groups.

  • At 3:59 AM, Anonymous psacman said…

    To paraphrase Shlomo Ha-Melech - Never criticize a fool; he'll only hate you for it.


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