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

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The Return of Velvel

It's almost 10 p.m. and I am still at work (bring out the violin) so I will take a few minutes to respond to Velvel's response to my post. Once again, my comments in italics.

"My most recent post generated a lengthy mussar shmooze/comment on MO Chassid's blog, to which I'd like to respond. His blogging style is very heavy-handed, but his opinions are usually poignant."

I resemble that remark!

"'I'm sure Velvel would never oversleep a gig (he is a musician) but it bothers him not at all to get up late for shul."

I'm habitually late to many things, especially in the morning. It bothers me when I'm late. So, yes MO Chassid, I might arrive a little late for soundcheck now and then. Also, my gigs are usually in the evening. The Shabbat services at my shul are no less than 3.5 hours long. Even during the winter. On the high holidays I sleep over in a different neighborhood and go to services which are known to be heimish, yet quick. I arrive on time."

Three and a half hours???!!!!! What can they possibly do for three and a half hours?? I thought sacrifices went out with the destruction of the bais hamikdash? I would recommend a hashkama minyan (early minyan that usually goes very quickly) but in light of Velvel's tardiness he would probably miss the whole thing!

"'I feel bad for Velvel that the only way he seems to be able to talk (or sing) to the Master of the Universe is through single malt scotch."

It's not that I can't talk to G-d without booze. I would rather drink after services. But as 11 o'clock rolls around, it's very tempting to join my friends for a drink. (also, I prefer bourbon to scotch)."

On a serious note, there is absolutely no reason Shabbos morning davening should take three and a half hours. Two and a half tops. I could see how it could drive people to the kiddush club (especially when the davening is so uninspiring).

As to the bourbon rather than scotch, I have one word: nebech.

"'The more I think about Velvel the more I feel that it is so gevalt that he wants to connect to the Ribbono Shel Olam and inspire others in the way he knows best, i.e., through drinking and zemiros."

I love inspiring people to sing, but I certainly don't need to inspire anyone around here to drink.

I didn't mean that Velvel inspires people to drink...I meant that by having a drink or two it leads him to sing zemiros and have an impact on others in a holy way.

"'Wouldn't it be great if this was just a complement to geshmak, inspired davening?"


I wasn't just saying that stam. My Rebbe says, in the name of many Tzadikim, that the very area where a person is most challenged is the area where he can most greatly excel. I believe b'emunah shleima that anyone who can inspire Jews to a level of avodas Hashem through song must have a deep power of tefilah within him. I have seen with my own eyes the worst shul-talkers become the biggest daveners. It's a question of finding the power within.


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