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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's More Annoying? II

A. The guy who blurts out "Mashiv Haruach" in the midle of the silent amidah and thereby distracts you and causes you to lose your place?

B. The guy who blurts out "Shemah Koleinu" in the middle of the silent amidah and thereby distracts you and causes you to lose your place?

I think it's A. At least A thinks he's doing you a favor. B is just being randomly annoying.



  • At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How long do we thank 1? I can see doing it for a day or so but after that you are on your own. #2 just seems self righteous, we all say shema koleinu and hope our tefilos are answered what makes this guy's so important that he needs to interrupt those around him. Unless he thinks G-d is that old that he needs to yell in order for G-d to hear him. Also, #1 is doing it a the beginning of the amida when most people are pretty much up to the same place # 2 is doing it at a time where people are in the middle beginning and end and are not interested in knowing where the other guy is up to.

  • At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Brutus said…

    The B Guy totally baffles me. I hear it every now and then and I don't understand what he's trying to do. Also, the B guy is usually a speed-davener. Its almost as if it was a race to finish shemona esrei and he's announcing to everyone around him that he's going to win. And you are right - it's VERY distracting and VERY annoying.

  • At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Pashut, the guy clapping randomly during shemona esrei is the worst of them all.

  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    It occurs to me that there is actually a 1a and a 1b.

    1a davens quickly, so his "mashiv Haruach" might actually remind someone of the change. 1b davens slowly so by the time he gets to it, it's of no use. He's just like 2.

  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger Moshe Dovid said…

    I suppose you decided against changing the direction of the blog ( Unless this falls under "Jewish Communal Affairs" - a bit of a stretch, IMHO, and it definitely does not seem to be related to the economy. I also detect the regular level of MoChasid snark. At least it's probably a sign that you are feeling better.
    That's an aside. I really wrote to point out a small typo - you wrote that A is more annoying but it seems from context that you meant B.

  • At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What annoys me the most are the guys who put the talis over their heads during Shemona Esrai but talk up a storm during most of the davening.

    It's as if the guy tells his talking partner to "hold that thought, let me say Shemonah Esrai, and we'll continue when I'm done."

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger ThePeoplesChamp said…

    Looks like MoC is back and that is a good thing.

    The answer is simple. They are both annoying. I would put them right up there with the "guy that stands in the aisle but liens on your chair/aisle seat guy", "guy who davens in the back of the shul by the door with the incredibly long Shoma Esrei" and the classic "guy who misses half the laining and the haftarah and walks in the middle of the Rabbi's speech and makes 5 guys in the row get up to get to his seat guy".

  • At 6:00 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    The list goes on.


    I never intended to stop being a Keen Observer of the Human Condition (tm)

  • At 8:31 PM, Blogger Michael Kopinsky said…

    And then there's the guy who feels the need to interrupt you with "Yaaleh v'Yavo", and then once you've found your place after that, he has to mess you up again with "b'yom rosh hachodesh hazeh." The first can perhaps be forgiven, since people do forget Yaaleh v'Yavo, but once he's reminded me that it's something special, am I really gonna get confused and think it's Sukkos?

  • At 4:36 AM, Blogger Moshe Dovid said…

    MoC, I don't see where "Keen Observation" comes in here. The way I see it, keen observation means paying close attention to notice things that can easily be missed. According to you, the behaviors of A and B are so conspicuous that they could not possible be missed and can even distract you from a private conversation with the Creator.
    What pops in to your mind when you hear A say "Mashiv HaRuach"?
    1) Who does this guy think he is? Does he think he's the only one who remembers to say Mashiv Haruach?
    2) What lack of sensitivity! Doesn't he realize that for the off chance that he will remind someone to say Mashiv Haruach before it is too late he is distracting me from my davening?
    What are your thoughts about B?
    1) What a faker! Who is he trying to impress with the theatrics?
    2) Priorities all wrong! All he cares about is his own davening and he doesn't stop to consider that he is bothering me. It's called "Silent" Amidah for a reason!
    What if you tried to think a little bit more charitably about A and B? Put a little more of the Berditchiver into the Chassid.
    You might think about A:
    1) He remembered to say Mashiv Haruach in his own Shmoneh Esrei, but he isn't thinking only about himself. He wants to make sure that all of Hashem's children bless Him in the proper way.
    2) He is willing to risk a little embarrasment by saying Mashiv Haruach out loud just in case it will spare even one of his brothers from saying a Bracaha L'Vatala.
    And even about B:
    1) Wow, the fact that he is standing in front of the Ribbono Shel Olam is so real to him at this moment that he Mamash forgot that there are other people around. Otherwise he never would have made so much noise right now.
    2) There must be something pressing on him and he really feels he needs Hashem's help. He can't help but say the words Shemah Koleinu out loud.
    It might make for a less entertaining blog entry (or maybe no entry at all), but I guaranty that it is much healthier, physically and spiritually. I also suspect that, at least sometimes, it is really your own negative thoughts about A and B that are distracting you from your own davening and not the sudden noise coming from their mouths.
    And guess what, the "Dan L'Chaf Zchus" interpretations of A and B's behavior may actually be true. And even if they aren't, I promise that no harm will come to you if you erroneously attribute to them purer intentions than what they deserve.
    It is for sure not easy to always see the positive side of behaviors that are annoying, Adaraba, it's a difficult Avodah. But it is not a good idea to actively pursue and publicize and solicit discussion on the negative aspects of the behaviors of fellow Jews.
    If you find it necessary to change these behaviors, you will be better off to quietly approach A and B and tell them in a sensitive way what is bothering you. I think that will be much more effective than blogging about it to your own fans.

  • At 7:04 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    R. Moshe Dovid

    I assure you I don't have any of the negative thoughts about the men who blurt out Mashiv Haruach, etc., that you acribe to me. I just often lose my concentration, and my place. And I certainly don't have the positive thoughts you would hope I have. (I am not yet holding by the level of the Kedushas Levi).

    In fact, I'm quite certain the ones that blurt out Mashiv Haruach or ya'aleh v'yavoh are well-intentioned. And I'm certain that those who blurt out randomly don't even realize what they are doing.

    Nevertheless, it doesn't make them any less annoying. That was my only point (which, like most things I write here, was mostly meant tongue-in-cheek).

    I do take your point about these type of posts eliciting comments that may put fellow Jews in a bad light but I think that most of the posts are also not meant in a serious way.

    In any event, I always appreciate your mussar and I will try hard to process what you are saying and take it to heart.

    Have a great Shabbos.

  • At 8:23 AM, Blogger Moshe Dovid said…

    Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I don't mean to be the "Mussar Preacher" but sometimes I cannot help myself. You once posted that overproduced shiny-shoe music might be one of the biggest threats to Yiddishkeit today. I believe that one of the huge threats to Yiddishkeit is the Internet. No, I don't mean that people are viewing and downloading inappropriate content and being corrupted and so forth. Maybe that's true, too, but I mean something else.
    The Internet is encouraging Jews to be rude, mean-spirited, and disrespectful to each other in ways that they would never do in person or in any other forum. This is evident in many places, especially in blogs and ESPECIALLY in the comments section of blogs. Your blog is really not bad compared to many others. But I still feel that being respectful, understanding, and treating other Jews (even anonymous ones) with dignity is an important goal. I really believe that a person like yourself who has refined Midos can be spiritually damaged if he his not careful with what he posts on the internet.
    If you think that my Mussar might possibly have merit, you can discuss it with a spiritual mentor whom you trust. Maybe he'll tell you that I am full of hot air, and you can just disregard anything I said. Or maybe he'll say that the entertainment value of the posts or their possible positive influence outweigh any negative aspects.
    I personally think that a whole series of posts based on the premise, "Who's more annoying, Jew A or Jew B" is a dangerous idea, even if meant in jest. You were definitely right when you wrote that the possibilities are endless.
    (Here's one for you - who's more annoying, the guy who has no sense of humor and posts preachy comments to your blog or the guy who is so enamoured with his own opinion and posts massive long-winded comments to your blog? In this case it's an easy answer, they're both me so they are both equally annoying.)
    Good Shabbos!

  • At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm always amazed by the guy who gets to Masiv Haruach before I've completed Hashem Sefasai Tiftach.

    On a serious note- it has happenned to me that on occassions that I am not saying S"E with a siddur that I'm so thrown off and not sure where I'm up to- yes it's clearly a chisaron in my Kavanah- but I'm not sure where I should go back to. the beginning? the nlast known spot? Anyone know?

  • At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I daven in a shul where the Tsedaka guy insists on shaking the pushka every step he takes even though there are only 15-20 people in the minyan- even though some are still davening

  • At 11:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At 2:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

  • At 5:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

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