Wednesday, October 05, 2011

On being the cause of a tirchah d’tzibbur :(

Normally, I would complain that, given the slow speed at which I read Hebrew, it’s either kavannah or kehillah—I have no focus (kavannah) when davvening/praying with a kehillah (congregation) because I’m always in such a rush to keep up. In recent weeks, however, as a result of conversations with friends, I’ve become more aware of the effect that my words and/or deeds have on others. This put me in a rather unusual position during Rosh HaShanah: I became acutely aware that I was creating a tirchah d’tzibbur, a burden on the congregation, because the folks up front were delaying the Reader’s Repetition/Chazarat HaShaTz of the Amidah prayer of the Musaf service until I and the few other “stragglers” finished the "silent" (recited by each individual in an undertone) Amidah. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be a problem with a solution.


Anonymous Miriam said...

Hi, Shira. I recently came across your post from a very long time ago about women who wear kippot. It was interesting reading to me, as I am a woman who has recently started experimenting with wearing a kippah. Currently, I wear it in synagogue, and when I'm praying or studying torah outside of synagogue, but this week, since it's the Days of Awe, I'm experimenting with wearing it all day. I don't think it'll ever be an every day thing for me, but...I guess it's sort of a physical reminder for me that the Divine presence is everywhere, and kind of a reminder of my kavannah for this week as I prepare for Yom Kippur. I do feel a little weird about it though, since it's so un-traditional for women to do this. Anyway, I guess it's great to hear that there are other women out there trying to sort out this very muddled question of women's head coverings. So I just wanted to say...I have enjoyed perusing your blog. May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!

Wed Oct 05, 03:50:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the reading.

Best of luck in finding your comfort level within Jewish observance.

May this year be a good one for you--g'mar chatimah tovah.

Wed Oct 05, 05:35:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The solution to this problem is to speak in advance to the leaders of the service and tell them that you are a slow reader; that you had the impression on RH that they waited for you to finish the silent amida; and that they please should not wait for you in the future.

Thu Oct 06, 08:31:00 AM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

A reasonable compromise might be to ask that they not wait beyond the moment when they see me bow for the Modim paragraph. If they wait that long, I should be able to catch up in time for U-n'taneh Tokef, which I would really hate to miss.

Thu Oct 06, 05:55:00 PM 2011  
Blogger The Reform Baal Teshuvah said...

If I want to daven the whole thing, I have no problem using the time chazeret hashatz to complete it. Just tell them to forge on ahead, you'll finish when you finish.

We have people who regularly show up in time for the Torah service and daven shacharit during that. Not exact k'vod torah, but it gets the job done for them.

Thu Oct 06, 08:56:00 PM 2011  
Anonymous jdub said...

I'm not sure why they wait at all unless they need you because they only have 10. We have lots of folks who prolong their davening. We don't wait. If the rabbi is there, we wait for him, otherwise, you wait until the majority have finished and start.

Fri Oct 07, 08:04:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous Woodrow/Conservadox said...

Alternatively, would you read faster if you read some prayers in English? (At any rate, have an easy and meaningful fast!)

Fri Oct 07, 01:33:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Reform BT, I really hate to miss U-n'taneh Tokef.

JDub, they wait out of consideration for us slow-pokes. I'm not always the last one left standing.

Woodrow, I've increased the amount of English in which I pray on the Yamim Noraim/Days of Awe in the hope of alleviating the problem. I think I cut about 5 minutes off my Al Chet by not only reciting most of it in English, but also by skipping the repeated words at the beginning of each sentence. I just say 'em once for each "set."

As for the easy fast, see my next post, which I'm going to write right about now.

Sun Oct 09, 11:24:00 AM 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Oct 06, 08:31 Anonymous.

I have this problem with UNtaneh Tokef too. I am never finished with my silent amida on Rosh Hashana by the time they get to it. my solution is to pause in my silent amida and follow the congregation's UnTaneh Tokef. I allow myself to hum along but don't actually say the words of the UnTaneh Tokef, I just pay attention. Then after the kedusha I return to my silent amida.

Too late for this year, but there's always next year god willing.

Mon Oct 10, 01:31:00 PM 2011  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Oct 06, 08:31 Anonymous, I do that all the time for the Kedushah at my "kaddish minyan" on weekdays--I'm almost always still reciting the last Sh'ma blessing when they start the Amidah prayer. I'll keep that method in mind as an alternative, in case the leaders lose their patience or I end up praying at a different synagogue someday on the Yamim Noraim.

Mon Oct 10, 04:30:00 PM 2011  

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