November 14, 2010 12:17 am at 12:17 am #593016
I know that some of you are going to say that I’m nitpicking… and that’s all right… perhaps I am getting upset about nothing at all. But I’m curious about what everyone else here thinks.
This past Shabbos I was davening in shul on Friday night. In this particular shul, the rav (or someone else) speaks between Kaballas Shabbos and Ma’ariv. This week, it was the rav.
To be honest, the rav is not (in my opinion) the greatest speaker… I can honestly see someone losing interest in what he’s saying. I wasn’t all that interested myself — but that’s another topic for another day.
But what bothered me is that there were people who chose to take out sefarim and learn from them while the rav was speaking. To me, this is a gross show of disrespect. When someone is speaking to you (even if it’s not to you individually), you should show them the courtesy of paying attention (or at least pretending that you are paying attention) to what they’re saying. By openly sitting in the shul and learning from another sefer while the rav (or anyone else) is speaking is, in effect, saying to him that you’re not worthy of my attention. Or that’s my opinion anyway.
I’m the lowest of the low, and I know that I wouldn’t want to be treated that way. How much more so for someone who actually *deserves* respect.
The rav, for whatever reason, didn’t say anything. Perhaps he didn’t notice. Perhaps he didn’t care. I don’t know. But I do know that this is not the first time I’ve seen this done. I find this practice to be a display of an appalling lack of manners.
I know what some of you will say: Wolf, are you so perfect that you’re ready to point out other people’s faults? The answer, of course, is no. Unless it’s my own kids or someone else I’m directly responsible for, I don’t criticize people directly to them. So I don’t say anything.
But is it really a fault? Perhaps I’m just blowing things out of proportion in my mind. Perhaps it’s not really that big of a deal. Perhaps I’m just being hyper-sensitive.
So, what do you think? Uncouth? Bad manners? Disrespectful? Or should I just shut up because I’m crazy and it’s not a big deal?
The WolfNovember 14, 2010 1:23 am at 1:23 am #710268SJSinNYCMember
I think if its out of his range, its not terrible. So if he can’t see you, eh. If he can its rude, rude, rude.November 14, 2010 1:40 am at 1:40 am #710269
First of all I dont know you personally but you have this manner of putting yourself down and saying negative things about yourself which really makes me uncomfortable. I dont think its proper for you to put yourself down whether you really have a low self image or just for fun because some people will take it seriously and if you really feel this way about yourself you need to speak to a professional. If you are doing it for humor, its not funny and insensitive to those who themselves struggle or have struggled with self image issues.
Now on to your post.
I think you have made a very valid point and I have seen this done elsewhere. You are 100% correct that it is wrong and disrespectful. It shows I dont care what you have to say r that you are boring…Its especially rude when the person is right in the line of sight of the Rav or speaker…If the Rav is speaking for a long time and goes on and on and is really very boring, I cant judge someone who is sitting in the back and knows for a fact that he cant be seen by the Rav for taking out a sefer and finishing maavir sedrah or whatever.November 14, 2010 1:46 am at 1:46 am #710270
Why does he speak if the people don’t want to hear it. If only a few people want to listen, he should call it a shiur and do it around a table.November 14, 2010 1:58 am at 1:58 am #710271
When talking to a meture audience (e.i. not kids in school) you dont expect everyone to listen. looking in a sefer quiatly is ok, learning with your son or shmoozing is not.November 14, 2010 2:06 am at 2:06 am #710272bombmaniacParticipant
theyre wrong, and if you know them well enough to give them mussar in a way that they will accept it you should. if they dont want to hear teh rzv, they should walk out, thats a one time affront to the kavod of teh rav and teh kavod of teh torah.November 14, 2010 2:15 am at 2:15 am #710273
The same thing bothers me.
It also bothers me when my “super masmidim” family members do it at family sheva brachos and at the shabbos table.
Learning is learning and mentshlachkeit is mentshlachkeit.November 14, 2010 2:17 am at 2:17 am #710274EloQuint5Member
It’s a classic case of being holy at another person’s expense. Priorities have shifted and many people place more emphasis on bein adam lamakom than bein adam lachaveiro.November 14, 2010 3:43 am at 3:43 am #710275
Totally uncouth, shows lack of kovod harav, in my opinion. I would not even do that if a LECTURER who is NOT a rov, was giving a boring speech. Just shows ill-mannered boorish behavior.November 14, 2010 4:32 am at 4:32 am #710276
I think it is definitely disrespectful. You are right.
It is the same thing as a school student sitting in history class while studying Science for an upcoming exam.November 14, 2010 5:30 am at 5:30 am #710277
Deiyezooger- can you perhaps start using spellcheck? It will make it a lot easier to read your posts.November 14, 2010 5:59 am at 5:59 am #710278
“The same thing bothers me.
It also bothers me when my “super masmidim” family members do it at family sheva brachos and at the shabbos table.
Learning is learning and mentshlachkeit is mentshlachkeit.”
If nobody is speaking theres no problem if they feel like taking out a sefer and learning as opposed to shmoozing and making small talk. Unless you are referring to while someone is speaking, then yes it is wrong and is arrogant and shows a clear lack of respect or a disdain for the speaker.November 14, 2010 6:01 am at 6:01 am #710279
I agree with smartcookie. Please use a spell checker. Your post looks ridiculous.November 14, 2010 6:35 am at 6:35 am #710280haifagirlParticipant
I agree it is disrespectful. However, I do it. I am sitting behind the mechitzah, so the rav can’t see me. And everyone knows I don’t know Hebrew well enough to follow what he is saying.
However, there is another shul where I go and a woman gives a shiur to the women. In that case I do pay attention even though I catch about one word of every ten.November 14, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am #710281amichaiParticipant
it should not be done in front of the rav. maybe move towards the back of the shul if you do not wanna listen. wiy- the way you wrote to deyiezooger is not so nice.November 14, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am #710282ImaofthreeParticipant
I don’t think it’s respectful but at least they are not talking and being disruptive.November 14, 2010 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #710283
Amichi, thanks for sticking up for me, but I should be more carefull to double check what I write before hitting the SEND POST botton. once it’s out there its like nails on a chalk board and you cant take it back, kind like loshen hora.November 14, 2010 2:34 pm at 2:34 pm #710284
I disagree. If you are at a family simach with all your cousins your learning can wait an hour or two so that you can socialize with your family members. If that is too taxing stay at home or in the bais medrash.November 14, 2010 2:56 pm at 2:56 pm #710285shlomozalmanMember
EloQuint5 put it best. It is a classic case of gaivah. If I were the Rav, I would seriously think of raising a theoretical question during the speech and putting it out to the oilam, specifically asking the “nose in the sefer” to offer his opinion. The nose needn’t be embarrassed, it’s a kovod to have the Rav ask your opinion. That should put a stop to this inexcusable behavior.November 14, 2010 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #710286real-briskerMember
Wolf – I agree with you 100% further more it even bothers me when my Rov speaks and people leave to go to a diffrent room to learn because “his learning is more choshuv than what the rov has to say” for sure if they were to open up a sefer in that bm! Ah chutzpah. I’m just waiting for the day that one of these individuals come rov, and see how many people stay to listen to thier droshos! Sac – I disagree with you, there is nothing wrong with learning during a sb if you are bored and are not interested in socializing.November 14, 2010 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #710287
Shlomo- I guess that’s the reason why you’re not a rav ;).November 14, 2010 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #710288
Is it disrespectful to a tzibbur to speak when nobody is interested in what you are saying?November 14, 2010 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #710289HaLeiViParticipant
Please. It’s got nothing to do with Ga’ava. It’s called boredom. And yes, it is rude.
Sacrilege, your case is not just boredom; it sounds like what you describe it as – misplaced Hasmada. If these family members are in sphere of influence, you can point out that you’ll never see an Adam Gadol learning from a Sefer by a Simcha. If they really want to emulate Gedolim, they can speak Torah to each other and to the family.November 14, 2010 5:53 pm at 5:53 pm #710290cantoresqMember
I always read during the rabbi’s speeches for two simple reasons. 1. He sees fit to read a sefer during my Chazarat Hashatz. If he won’t pay attention to me, when I present davening that hearkens back to the neviim and chazal, why should I pay attention to him and 2. The books I bring with me are far more interesting to me than his drashot. As it happens, I’ rather grateful for his long winded speeches. I’ve gotten alot of useful reading done.
While we’re on the subject, has anyone noticed that the quality of rabbinic homoletics has seriously declined? Rabbis used to deliver some sort of learned exegesis, or at least some moral and ethical teachings. Now all I ever hear is silly and trite “feel good” drivel. It’s basically Deepak Chopra with a Jewish lilt. Where have our orators gone?November 14, 2010 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #710291MoqMember
Wolf – I think you’re right; but I’ve been in that position; the Rav is going to babble about silliness & I’ve got a daf to finish. Usually I will try to slip out.
Sacri – you’re right about Sheva Brachos or Chasunos. R’ Aharon Shecter once saw a bachur w/a mishniyos at a wedding. He said to ” What are you doing? Why aren’t you dancing?” “Rebbe, Bitul Torah!”
“Fine – IYH, remind before your chasuna, to remind everyone to bring mishniyos”November 14, 2010 6:05 pm at 6:05 pm #710292aries2756Participant
I think that when you go to a particular shul you understand that the RAV is the Rosh of the shul and you are obligated to give him kovod. If you do not respect that RAV you should not go to that shul. If you choose to go there it is not up to you to decide if what YOU decide to do is kovodik or not, it is whether others will perceive what you are doing is kovodik to the Rav and that will cause machlokis and loshan horah. It goes beyond the scope of just you, yourself and your own opinion. If the RAV chooses to speak then it is expected that the kehilah listens. Your choice is to stay and listen or to leave and go elsewhere.November 14, 2010 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #710293real-briskerMember
pba – If you dont like the rabbi dont daven there. Plain and Simple.November 14, 2010 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #710294
If you dont like the rabbi dont daven there. Plain and Simple.
Cuts both ways. If you don’t like people ignoring you, don’t speak. Plain and simple.November 14, 2010 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #710295amamaParticipant
I think it is disrespectful to take out a sefer in front of a speaking Rav. If there’s another shul in town go there or come after the speech. also, I would agree with amichai in which he said “it should not be done in front of the rav. maybe move towards the back of the shul if you do not wanna listen.” the only problem is that too many people will end up in the back and that again is disrespectful. the bottom line is, to all these “masmidim” or people that dont want to waste time, they should look in the mirror and ask themselves if they’re really doing it leshem shamayim.November 14, 2010 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #710296sof davar hakol nishmaMember
my goodness i never thought a rav’s speach could be so boring. In the shul i go to, he always has something interesting to say.
Although i do agree with you that whether or not youre interested it is a chutzpa to learn something else. When said what goes on , it reminded me of kids in class while the teacher teaches sometimes…do other homework, pass notes etc. But it’s very different here because they are all adults, and should act with derech eretz. (true children in school should also but thats another story)November 14, 2010 8:12 pm at 8:12 pm #710297cantoresqMember
Aries and Real Brisker, what might you say to those of us who were in the schul before the rabbi arived, and voted against his candidacy?November 14, 2010 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #710298
HaLeivi & Moq
Exactly. I am not one to bring up an issue like this with a family member since I dont like to start machlokes. I just thought it exceedingly disrespectful of my cousin (who really IS a big masmid, and has the chops to back it up) who was seated next to my Grandfather at a Shabbos Sheva Brachos, didnt say a word to him the entire meal, continued learning throughout his speech, wasnt helpful in the way of passing food. In essence he was just taking up a seat.
I really do hate throwing around chazals but if this is not what they meant when they said “derech eretz kadma latorah” I dont know what they did.November 14, 2010 8:48 pm at 8:48 pm #710299
Your cousin is obviously not being a mentsch and taking hasmmada to an extreme at the cost of his middos.
He should at least make some effort to talk to his zeidie and be helpful. Certainly, if he is sitting at the dais it is a chutzpah to read a sefer while others are speaking.
You are correct.November 14, 2010 8:58 pm at 8:58 pm #710300
“Is it disrespectful to a tzibbur to speak when nobody is interested in what you are saying? “
Popa – Would it be disrespectful for your son to do that while you are speaking to him? Even if he is not interested in what you are saying?November 14, 2010 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #710301
Why does he speak if the people don’t want to hear it.
Is it disrespectful to a tzibbur to speak when nobody is interested in what you are saying?
I think you might have misunderstood me, or else I wasn’t clear.
It is in *my opinion* that he’s not the greatest speaker. I’m sure the vast majority of the congregation does like his speeches, or else they would not have hired him.
In addition, the vast majority of the congregation was listening to the rav speak. It was a few people who were deliberately ignoring him.
The WolfNovember 14, 2010 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #710302
As to masmidim who sit at simchas with a sefer – that is really chutzpahdig. There is a time for learning, and a time to be mesameach with someone (which is also a mitzvah). When menschlechkeit become secondary to learning, the learning is of little value.November 14, 2010 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #710303
if you know them well enough to give them mussar in a way that they will accept it you should.
As I said above, unless it’s my own kid, or someone else I’m directly responsible for, I don’t give mussar. I get mad when people talk during davening, but I will never tell them to stop.
Is that illogical and counter-productive? Perhaps. But I don’t feel it’s my place to correct people who are my betters (again, barring my own kids).
The WolfNovember 14, 2010 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #710304myfriendMember
cantoresq – Find a new shul.November 14, 2010 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #710305so rightMember
The Rov is the boss. If you don’t like what he has to say, pack your bags and find a new home. Doesn’t matter who was their “first”.November 14, 2010 9:06 pm at 9:06 pm #710306
your right let’s not start up with chazal words but it’s true what did they mean if not this or at this type of thing.November 14, 2010 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #710307
wolf your right you gotta teach your children to listen and behave when somebody speaks before you give it in to someone else that means not your family member.November 14, 2010 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #710308Shawn HannetyMember
any rav who’s soooo incompetent that the members of teh kehila run off to study other subjects doesnt deserve kavod. and anyway im sure that generally rabbis would rather people get some schar limud than fall asleep listening to them!!November 14, 2010 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #710309Michael SavageMember
Sheepishmusings is a better name for you you! you couldn’t be wronger! “Am I wrong?!” I think that the whole point of the speech is to keep the congregants that can’t learn Torah on their own busy. Obviously those that can handle learning, like my shul in Brooklyn don’t need such elemantary antics, such as a “rabbi’s shmuz”!November 14, 2010 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #710310Michael SavageMember
I just changed my profile password. Neat how you could do that! Am I wrong about this?November 14, 2010 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #710311
any rav who’s soooo incompetent that the members of teh kehila run off to study other subjects doesnt deserve kavod.
Is it your opinion, then, that unless the Rav can command the attention of every single person in the room — and that unless every single person in the room is behaving properly — that he is incompetent?
The WolfNovember 14, 2010 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #710312
??? ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???November 14, 2010 9:49 pm at 9:49 pm #710313
Please no name calling, everyone is entitled to their oppinion. we can respectfully disagree.November 14, 2010 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #710314
Sheepishmusings is a better name for you you!
Why do you seek to insult sheep by associating them with me?
you couldn’t be wronger! “Am I wrong?!” I think that the whole point of the speech is to keep the congregants that can’t learn Torah on their own busy. Obviously those that can handle learning, like my shul in Brooklyn don’t need such elemantary antics, such as a “rabbi’s shmuz”!
Do you *really* think that that’s the *only* reason for a rav to speak — for those who are unable to learn on their own?
And even if that’s the case, you don’t think that there’s an element of disrespect in not paying attention when someone’s talking to you?
The WolfNovember 14, 2010 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #710315
I just changed my profile password. Neat how you could do that! Am I wrong about this?
I have no idea what this has to do about anything being discussed in this thread. Perhaps I’m just too stupid to understand, so please explain it to me.
The WolfNovember 14, 2010 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #710316Shawn HannetyMember
yes wolfishmusings, yes. that most definitely is my opinion! wen i was in yeshiva my rosh hayeshiva commanded the attention of the bochurim and they would hang on dearly to every word. he wasnt like those rabbis that like to hear themselves talk!!! he KNEW we were listening!
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