Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Good practice

Apparently, studying with a chavruta (study partner) in a bet midrash (study hall) full of other study pairs provides excellent training for being able to concentrate through all manner of commotion.  It has not exactly escaped my notice that, when I'm in the bet midrash at my office davvening Mincha (praying the Afternoon Service)--batei midrash often double as prayer rooms--in between the Nusach Ashkenaz minyan and the Nusach Sefard minyan (there's no mechitza there, so I don't have much choice), the gents arriving early for the later minyan think absolutely nothing of conducting a full-volume conversation practically under my nose while I'm in mid-Amidah-prayer.  They're apparently so used to ignoring any conversation other than their own that it doesn't even occur to them to give a davvener (pray-er) a little peace and quiet.  I assume that this was one reason why our synagogue's former rabbi was downright offended at being asked to either join in or keep the conversation at a low volume while someone else was leading Birkat HaMazon/Grace after Meals.

More's the pity that I don't have practice in bet-midrash study.  It would come in handy on late-ending Shabbotot (Sabbaths), when we're davvening downstairs in the "dungeon" (basement chapel) while a renter is hosting a noisy party upstairs in the sanctuary.  I find that I have no choice but to leave after Birkat HaMazon following seudah shlishit and go home to davven Maariv/Arvit (pray the Evening Service) because I simply can't concentrate on silent prayer with loud music playing on the floor above.

You're cordially invited to add your thoughts to the very interesting--and serious--conversation taking place in the comments to my Why does an injection need to be kosher?


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