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

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Among my friends, my lack of patience is well known. They all know that I don't tolerate fools and they must all think that I have adult ADHD.

So, the more I think about it, the more I believe that the Aibishter has sent me a series of tests in the form of annoying people (or, more correctly, nice people with annoying traits) who frequent my shul.

For example:

Off-Key Harmony Guy: He sings 'harmonies' at the top of his lungs. Unfortunately, he is on key 10% of the time.

Long Shema Guy: He screams out Shema as if he thinks the One Above is deaf. And, he stretches it for about 30 seconds. I almost always finish the first paragraph of Shema before he is done with "Echad".

Slow Davening From the Amud Guys: We have many. They know I need to make the 8:01 to Manhattan yet they creep along to the point where I have to finish by myself early in order to barely make the train.

Multiple Dipper in The Mikvah Guy: While most men dip four times max, this guy, usually a Sephardi or Breslover, dips like 26 times. Often doesn't shower before dipping.

Klutz Kasha Guy: Again, no shortage of these. This guy asks the dopiest questions during shiur and the Rav is too polite to tell him the question is dopey.

Off-Tempo Clapping Guy: It's bad enough to have someone clapping loudly in my ears. When they are off beat, it can drive me to distraction.

Loud Davening Guy: Similar to Loud Shema Guy but he davens the entire tefilah out loud in an annoying monotone.

It can't be a coincidence that all of these people have found me over the past few years. It must be a test. Or, maybe I'm just becoming a bitter old curmudgeon.



  • At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It MAY just be your shul which suffers from these nisyonos - or at least disproportionately so.

  • At 2:01 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    These are all common annoyances which we all must endure. Also, they've always been there but are simply annoying you more now. I think the curmudgeon thing is on target. My wife says I'm getting there to.

  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger Jack Steiner said…

    Loud davening guy has many relatives. I know, because they always daven next to me.

  • At 8:42 PM, Blogger and so it shall be... said…

    Hey, how do you know I'm not crazy Mr. Mikvah man or prolonged sh'ma guy? I'm so insulted!!

  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger OrthoMomsBiggestFan said…

    "Your Shul" (which I know well) definetly has its share of weirdos but this post clearly makes it such that you are the weirdest of the weird!!

  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    And proud of it

  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    And if, despite all these peas under your mattress, you still haven't separated from your community, perhaps you have become a better person for it.

    Der Aimishteh might very well be quite pleased with your progress.

  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger FrumWithQuestions said…

    I see that we agree on many things. Did you read my post about things that bother me in shul? They seem to be on your list as well. Unfortunatly it is impossible to escape these types of people, and unfortunatly nobody is sensitive to these issues except me and you because it doesn't seem to bother anyone else.

  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger Akiva said…

    Well, at least you didn't stand there and shout at me, "hey, the rabbi says you only dip 3 times, it's not a swimming pool!" like someone did to me on erev Rosh Hashanah.

    Now, would you rather have those annoying people who are involved and serious about their davening, or the guy on your left and the guy on your right asking about the sports scores across you during Rosh Hashanah?

  • At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As someone who sings offkey, taps on his siddur off tempo, who draws out Echod (one who does so merits a long life) and who always feels rushed doing the Amidah, I can identify with much of what you say. Whether this makes me a general annoyance, I don't think so.

  • At 10:20 PM, Blogger yanmaneee said…

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