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I just found out there are more ways to disturb my Kavanah in shul. It didn't take long. Just one day. I have to interact with these people, and they easily annoy me.
Just watching them interact bothered me. And they’re loud. Here is more ways they disturbed me, since yesterday.
A loud embrace. It's not just a hug. It's a hug with a pat. A loud dramatic pat of two overweight guys.
The hug interrupted my whole Davening. I didn't realize embraces can be so loud. Then they went for hitting. I thought it was a pat, but it sounded more like whacks. Slapping each other. It was a violent show of affection from one Frum Jew to another.
Then an 'Ah... good to see you.' As if the three minute embrace slap wasn't loud enough to disturb the silent prayer.
Brought the little ones. They decided that shul is the right place for preschoolers. Seeing Bernie and Feivel fight over an Aliyah is an important part of early childhood education. Watching them fight and tracing the Aleph bet in the Siddur.
Constant child education. I have to see them teaching and disciplining for my morning Shacharit. I didn't realize one child could do everything wrong. And then I have to see them eating Cheerios in a bag. That is the shul food of choice for a child.
Why is his Shush louder than his kids?! Rule I adopted: To stop other people from disturbing, you should be quieter than them.
This guy was given the job because he couldn't stop talking in shul.
If all else doesn't work, they go to conversation. Full on conversation. Not a Hello or Shalom. Full on, 'How is your family doing?' in the middle of the Torah reading. Anything to kill my Kavanah.
Takes the Cellphone Call
Took the call in shul. Middle of Shacharit, answered the call. Pressed the green button and started asking how the grandkids were. He realized that was disturbing, so he went to the hall and put the phone on speaker. As loud as the speaker goes.
Comes back into the shul, after the speaker phone hallway fiasco, and slams his chair. Had to slam the chair. Had to let us know he was finished with his call and ready to feng-shui the shul.
Random Out Loud Hebrew Words
The guy next to me randomly goes loud to show his Kavanah. Like he's competing with the rabbi. The Chazin is definitely second fiddle to 'Modim' guy.
I once said Amen to Modim guy finishing the 'Sim Shalom' Bracha of the Amidah. I was disturbed that the Chazin skipped the rest of the repetition. Then I realized it was Modim guy. Why I have to know this guy is doing Modim every silent Amidah still baffles me. It throws off my Kavanah for a good fifteen minutes. Till the end of Davening, I'm corner eyeing this guy. And then his YaAleh vYavo on Rosh Chodesh. They hear that all the way at youth groups.
Shemonah Esrei Out Loud
The silent prayer was done with full audible. The only guy in shul who doesn't know it's called the silent prayer because you're supposed to do it silently.
Come to think of it, I don't know if I'm hearing anything coming out of his mouth. It's just the lips. He moves his lips very loudly. It's more annoying than hearing the words. Yes. Hearing the lips move is more annoying.
Sitting Right Next to Me
Who sits right next to a guy?! We're not in a relationship.
There's a whole pew and he sits right on me. As if pews are meant for more than one person. H' knows we're praying together. We don't have to be holding hands in unison. Saying 'Amen' without yelling it does the job.
I would never go to a movie with this guy. A whole row of open chairs and he decides he wants to share an armrest.
Then I have a guy starting a walking group in the back of the shul. Calls it pacing. Like it's another form of Shuckling.
Like fraternity brothers, it was a two-minute shake. After the two-minute overture, it turned out they were trying to prove who was more of a man, through grip. One guy's face got so red because the other guy was cupping his hand. This is what I have to see in the middle of Davening.
The problem is people are comfortable at shul. That's why it's impossible to pray with these people. But it's a Minyin. H' hears all of us. I know I hear them.
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My kids take after me. Due to Kibud Av vEim, they always let me take first.
You get it? ‘Take after me' means to be like their dad. Instead, they let their dad fill his plate first, as per the Mitzvah to honor parents. Very good kids. If we can have a positive influence on the next generation with our puns, that is the blessing.
Giving Tzedakah, I like to know where the charity is going. That charity box in the front is for kids who need help with their artwork.