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

Friday, June 12, 2009

Comfort Level

As a Kean Keen Observer Of The Human Condition, it occurred to me the other day that most people need to have a certain level of comfort before they will either go over to someone in shul and tell them their tefillin are misaligned, or, harder, tell them that they are mispronouncing a word (words!) as shliach tzibur.

I saw the former happen twice this week and in each case it was a good friend who approached another and adjusted his tefillin. When I was saying kaddish (and davening for the amud) on a couple of occasions people I'm close with pointed out pronunciation errors. I was grateful for the corrections. I'm not sure how I would have felt had a complete stranger pointed out my mistakes.

On the other hand, on a daily basis I hear shlichai tzibbur botch the Ivra. Since I've been davening mornings at my other shul, where I am not friendly with many people, I have not said a word. In the past, at my primary shul, I haven't hesitated to gently point out errors after davening.

And then, of course, there are the hockers who will say anything to anyone. Perhaps they are doing us all a favor by being nudniks.



  • At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very few people are in a position to correct others since they themselves may mispronounce certain words.

    Is it a pronunciation error to say Yisgadal V'Yiskadash rather than Yisgadel V'Yiskadesh?

  • At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that would be keen ;)

  • At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    pro charedi blog

    'not brisker yeshivish'

  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i've never understood why Rabbonim in shuls don't point out to their congregants when their Shel Rosh hangs too low. This is not a one time thing where your shel rosh is just misaligned. I don't get it.

  • At 1:08 PM, Anonymous couldn't help it Jersey letz said…

    As a Kean Observer Of The Human Condition

    is that position funded by a former Governer of New Jersey?

  • At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Is it a pronunciation error to say Yisgadal V'Yiskadash rather than Yisgadel V'Yiskadesh"

    No-there are two different viewpoints and minhaggim about what to say-the MB writes to say Yisgadel-but who says we follow the MB-apparently even the MB wouldn't have said that people should change their minhaggim to follow his viewpoint.


  • At 2:04 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    The bigger issue is what to do about guys who have their tefilin right above their eyebrows. It's amazing how many men wear them incorrectly (and probably have been for years and years).

    (About ten years ago Rabbi Billet told me my tefilin shel rosh were a bit too low, and actually adjusted them on the spot. I'm very grateful).

  • At 9:54 PM, Anonymous B.BarNavi said…

    "Is it a pronunciation error to say Yisgadal V'Yiskadash rather than Yisgadel V'Yiskadesh?"

    No, the other way around is.


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