Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Limmud lesson: Tefillah b'tzibbur is a gamble :(

I was so looking forward to enjoying a nice, leisurely Shacharit (Morning Service) with lots of congregational singing on Shabbat (Sabbath)--and was very upset when we ended up with a speed-davvenning baal tefillah (prayer leader) who led P'sukei D'Zimrah and Shacharit at roughly the same breakneck pace that I've become accustomed to on a weekday morning. Leaving aside the fact that I obviously couldn't keep up, what kind of Kavod (respect, honor) does it show to Shabbat to pray at the same speed on Shabbos that one uses when trying to get to the commuter train on time?

There are some drawbacks to Limmud's reliance on volunteers to lead services. Those responsible for arranging services may have no idea how well prepared a baal/baalat tefillah is or what his/her "davvenning (praying) style" is. I'll grant you that there's such a thing as too slow, but it's a shame that, even on Shabbat, I can't count on a tefillah b'tzibbur (prayer service with a community) to meet me halfway. What am I supposed to do, go back to davvenning up to Hotzaat HaTorah (the Torah service) bi-y'chidut (by myself)?



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