Cracking knuckles during davening – The New Mishugas!!

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    The Frumguy

    More and more shuls have mispalelim actually continually cracking their knuckles (sometimes quite loudly) during Tefillah. How annoying and disturbing this gets!!
    If one isn’t supposed to even daven out loud so as not to disturb , what’s with this MISHUGAS??


    Wait a few years until it becomes a standard, then it will morph into a. Minhag/ mesora and by then it will be considered mnhag k’halacha and then it wont bother you anymore because it became minhag. Just like many other idiosyncrasies which formed over the years.


    Not sure where you draw the line on personal “habits” and “practices” during davening that are annoying to those mispallalim nearby. We have coughers, sneezers, pacers, shucklers, those who echo the chazan/baal tifilah offkey, shriekers, those who get in their “uumeins” before the chazan has even completed reciting the baracha, those who take off their taaleisim and run to the lav every 18 minutes, etc. etc.

    Where do you draw the line. Some of the above sadly are real physiological needs and simply have to be tolerated, some are simply annoying habits which may be hard to change even if politely brought to the attention of the offender and some may offend you but are tacitly accepted by the majority of mispallalim.


    What does this have to do with davening?


    Do you think Hashem accepts your tefilla less because someone sneezes and interrupts your concentration? Who do you think put that sneezer or knuckle cracker into your life? Maybe Hashem would rather see you a little distracted but more accepting and tolerant of other Jews, rather than a little distracted and angry and spiteful at them?

    There’s a story about a particular gadol who had a talmid that wanted to get the gadol to daven for a choleh. So one day the talmid wrote the Hebrew name of the choleh in the margin of the gadol’s siddur by refainu. When the talmid realized how disrespectful this was he went to the gadol and profusely apologized for writing in his siddur. The gadol had no idea what he was talking about. He said, ‘when I daven from my siddur, I am looking at the words of the tefilla, not at the margin.’ He didn’t even see the writing.

    The idea is that if we have real focus in our tefilla, it isn’t broken by mundane things in our surroundings. If we’re distracted, it’s because of our own shortcomings, not because of sneezes, knuckles cracking or floorboards creaking.

    Avi K

    Curiosity, for that matter, there was a gadol in Morocco who was famous for his concentration. Someone once bet that he could disturb him so he fired a shot into the air while the gadol was davening. It did not work. However, very few people are on that level. Gezel tefilla is a very serious matter. See, for example, Mishna Berura 98:3 regarding bringing small children to shul. As for Hashem having sent the annoying person, that does not excuse him. Hashem sends chova by way of a chayav (Taanit 29a)


    Avi K,
    My point is not that the knuckle cracker is patur. He isn’t. My point is that it’s a nisayon from Hashem. And just like most other nisyonot, passing rarely consists of getting the whole world to accommodate you, but rather to do your best in an imperfect world.

    catch yourself

    If someone near you cracking their knuckles during davening even registers as something that bothers you, I think you should thank Hashem for such a wonderful life.


    People who are going through a rough time often fixate on small details.

    Neville ChaimBerlin

    This thread gave me the uncontrollable urge to crack my knuckles.

    Avi K

    Curiosity, maybe the nisayon is to see how the person will discuss it with the knuckle cracker.

    Chochma Derecheretz

    If you keep on coughing randomly and talking to your neighbor next
    to you about golfing and your new bathroom, that will drown
    out the knuckle cracking. Nine out of ten agree.

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