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

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Banging On the Table

It's a good thing that Gil keeps posting fresh stuff because I haven't posted about anything particularly new or fresh in a while.

He recently posted a short article by Ari Enkin on the permissibility of dancing, clapping, banging and using musical instruments on Shabbos. While everyone agrees that the use of musical instruments is impermissible, there is disagreement on dancing, clapping and banging on tables to the beat of music (although admittedly, the arguments for being maikel may not be the strongest intellectual halachic arguments I've seen).

Gil, the card-carrying Litvak, posted in a comment that he does not permit table-banging at his home. I posted, "What a surprise."

What I really meant to say is that we each have to decide what's important and what's not but, for my money, I will risk the wrath of G-d by being maikel on this issue. I will continue banging on my table and encourage my children to bang on the table because, in the long run, I think that they will be more influenced by heartzige Shabbos niggunim than by intellectual discussions like why it is not permissible to bang the table on Shabbos.

(And, of course, we go to a shul where dancing in the aisle is a weekly event and banging your shtender is almost a requirement).



  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger nyfunnyman said…

    i am a strict litvak- and i agree with you. just bang with your left hand- (i am saying i understand the need to be 'meikil' here)

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…


    You should be ashamed of yourself. You are on a slippery slope which will only lead to your total spiritual degeneration.

    First you'll start with hand banging. Should you get carried away and your hand begin to ache, you may be tempted to grab your mortar and pestle and begin to grind away your own pain relieving medication. If you find no relief with that and feel the need to see a doctor, you'll saddle up your horse (they do ride horses in Long Island, don't they) and rip off a few branches in order to coax the horse into greater swiftness to arrive at at your appointment. I see no end to this until your total spiritual fall which will eventually lead to... davening without socks!

  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger Shira Salamone said…

    The video reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, "Ivdu et HaShem b'simchah" ("Serve HaShem with gladness.") It might be a joyful experience to join in davvening at your shul sometime, but is there any place--literal and/or figurative--in your shul for *women* to davven with such simchah, or does your synagogue "hold" that a woman's "place" is not to davven? I ask only because it did not escape my notice that women were neither seen nor heard in this video, which, I assume, means either that they were behind the mechitzah singing quietly because of "kol isha" or that they weren't there at all. I realize that your wife was probably home with The Toddler at the time, but surely not every woman in your community has children young enough to require care.

  • At 10:49 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    There were plenty of women there. They were in the ezras nashim; it's an Orthodox shul, what do you expect.

    The women in our shul are a very intersting chevra. They are VERY engaged in many ways albeit not necessarily singing and dancing. I will post about them one day.

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Shira Salamone said…

    I figured that they were in the ezrat nashim, yours being an Orthodox shul, but, when the videographer panned the camera up, I saw *men* upstairs, so I was a little confused. It won't be the first time that a women's balcony was taken over by men for lack of room downstairs, so I was just wondering whether there were any women present.

    I would be very interested in reading about the women of your shul, and look forward to a future post by you on this women's chevra.

  • At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    will continue banging on my table and encourage my children to bang on the table because, in the long run, I think that they will be more influenced by heartzige Shabbos niggunim

    Fixed your typo:

    ....think that they will be more influenced [to disrespect shabbos if I encourage them to be mechalel shabbos by banging on the table] by heartzige Shabbos niggunim


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