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

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Strange Visitor From Another Planet

I usually daven at the 6:30 minyan at my other shul. This is the quintessential commuter minyan. No fooling around. Quick and to the point. The Rabbis never daven there so they don't have to wait for them to finish Shemah or Shimonah Esrai. You get the point.

The other day, I walked in and saw that one of the stranger men from my main shul took the amud because he had yahrtzeit. I knew this was going to be entertaining.

Rather than the staccato cadence that we are used to hearing at this minyan, our friend was davening in a sing-song way. And he was s-l-o-w. V-e-r-y s-l-o-w.

It was amusing to see the reaction of the rest of the kehilah. They didn't know what hit them. The eye-rolling really hit a peak when our friend sang Tzur Yisrael right before the amidah as one would on Shabbos (but, not, interestingly, at our shul). Yikes!

Davening took ten minutes longer (approximately 30%) than usual. In spite of this, there was no effort to lynch the chazan and everyone behaved very calmly (those that stayed; many people were gone way before the end of davening).

After shul, a friend who had just recently started davening on weekends at my main shul came over to me and, with a twinkle in his eye said, "One of ours, huh?"



  • At 10:25 AM, Anonymous YD said…

    It was certainly a Chavaya.
    I've never seen the man in the Shul before.

    The Shabbos nusach was interesting, I was expecting him to sing Kedusha as well.

    At least it wasn't on a Monday or Thursday.

  • At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was at a different shul in the neighborhood on Monday when a stranger came in, got an aliyah and said the brachos full blast in Chazanus- an interesting wake up call!

  • At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fewer things get under my skin (and it doesn't take much) than slow daveners. I am very often called upon in an "hour of need" to spped things up, but when someone gets up there at an early shachris or office micha and goes slow I lose it. One thing that the 5 Towns has over Teaneck is the speed at which they can conduct weekday minyanim.

  • At 12:00 PM, Anonymous YD said…


    I can deal with someone who daens slow but is a regular attendee at the minyan.

    When someone I've never seen before takes the Amud and deviates from SOP, it kinda rankles.

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said…

    I could certainly use a minyan like that here. Our "commuter minyan" is about 100% longer than your regular minyan, according to your figures. If I had a real working man's minyan, maybe I'd be able to start going again.

    BTW I'll be in Woodmere next Shabbos.

  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger Pesach Sommer said…

    Excuse me if I am naive, but is speeding the the words at unitelligble pace the goal of davening? I am not saying that one should sing tzur yisrael, but tefila is amida lifnei HaMakom.

  • At 4:49 PM, Anonymous YD said…

    The usual davening is not particularly quick.

    This was inordinately slow.

    As I wrote earlier, if a regular attendee of the minyan davened at a slower pace, it would not have been noteworthy.

    This was a nusach onto itself.

  • At 5:54 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    Next shabbos as in this Shabbos or the 15th/16th. I will be away that Shabbos.

  • At 11:17 AM, Blogger Proud MO said…

    Pesach, there's a difference between going fast and not shlepping.
    Where I daven slichos RH/Yom Kippur time, there's one guy who goes way too fast. He davened erev Rosh Hashanah slichos in about 40 minutes. There's no way to say every word and manage that. Others take about an hour. Some places take 3 hours.
    See the difference?

  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger ThePeoplesChamp said…

    That was like a few years ago at "your shul" when Chol Hamoad Succos, one of the local shleppers took the Stand (I like stand over the Hebraic Amud, because he should have been tried for that performance) and proceeded to belt out a Hallel that would have turned the locals against him if it was on Yontif! Needless to say, this is why MoC is the Mariano of His Shul and breakaway minyans were invented.

  • At 6:36 PM, Blogger Pesach Sommer said…

    I see the difference. Still, I wonder whether it is possible for non-fluent hebrew speaker to pay attention to the words that are being said at the 'normal' pace at most shuls. That is the point of davening, isn't it?

  • At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe that a slow minyan is both tirha dizubura and zar baalei hayim.
    90% of minyan goers are cheery and thankful when its completed within 30 min.
    if the baal tfila cant do it, the he aint a shaliah zibur,. just stand aside

  • At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess it's really a problem when davening get's in the way of more important things... such as the LIRR, or work... sigh

  • At 6:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How long was his Kriyat Shema? I had to campaign loudly in our minyan to give us at least 1 minute 15 seconds and that itself is fast. Today the shliach tzibbur was looking around after 2 mins 30 seconds of amidah ready to repeat and possibly agitated that he was the only one in the entire shul who had finished and he had to wait for at least 9 others. He started at 3 mins 10 secs or so, I guess when exactly 9 others had finished.


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