Daven With A Hat BeYichidus or Without it with a Minyan

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    moish, your questions are deep and well thought out. I believe that you’ve inherited the “lawyer gene” from your dad. The way you asked was very sincere and the fact that you read the responses and followed up really impresses me. My point is not to flatter you. My point is that this shows you are a really good kid. No doubt about it. I don’t care if you don’t want someone to say that, or if you get angry. Now that you’ve read it you can’t forget it. (As a great man once said, “You can delete your cookies, but you can NEVER delete your memories”). Life is difficult for you now and you say that you do bad things. That may be true, but I see you are a good person. Don’t forget that.

    That’s why everyone is so proud of you, even if they didn’t realize it consciously.

    I had a very hard time stopping here. Be proud of me for stopping.


    “hey speaking of davening, (i should run away from here now before i lose control) but i actually davened mincha AND mariv today. plus i put on tfillin (a little late, but they went on today) not bad, ay?

    i’ll bet anonymiss would give me an A+ for trying… “

    Aw, why not go for the gold, Moish? (Seriously, I have always been of the belief that m’toch shelo lishma ba lishma. Maybe right now you are not doing exactly what a typical frum guy does or feels when he davens, but obviously you are working through some issues in this area, and I hope you continue on a really healthy derech and not give up. I think many people have felt similar feelings to yours, but are afraid to express them for fear of censure. You can re-connect to your tefila, and I think that some excellent things were said to you by ames in the previous posts.

    Pashuteh Yid

    NotPashut: When you say that I have tayna’s on Reb Chaim’s supposed psak, because of the six points I raised, you misunderstand. The six points I raised are the psak. You have quoted a footnote which I do not know if I am required to believe is correct unless somebody shows me the original. (I do not have that sefer.) Asking for reasons is not taynas. It is asking for the etzem psak. I have not seen a single reason yet for the psak, and you have not supplied one. I can’t possibly bring taynas on an as yet (to me) nonexistent psak. I am simply asking to see how he arrived at his conclusion. When a godol paskens, he is mechuyav to give reasons. Reb Moshe didn’t just write one-line teshuvahs saying “because I said so”. Neither did the Tzitz Eliezer or anybody else. It is not beneath a godol to reveal his reasoning. The entire shakla vtarya of the gemara could have been omitted and just the maskanahs kept, if that were the case, and shas would be 100 times smaller than it is now.

    It occurred to me that possibly Reb Chaim may hold that tikun hamalbushim is meakev tefilah in which case that would explain his reason, as one could not be yotzei if not dressed properly. However, the Rambam in Tefilah (5,1) says it is not meakev bdieved.

    Will Hill: I did the usual screaming against college, and against modern orthodox, and against various ethnic groups saying they were vilder chayas. One time a roommate had some issues that bothered him with emunah, and I yelled at him instead of trying to help him work it out. I thought the entire working world both jewish and non-Jewish were a bunch of fools. I probably caused friction in my family when I thought they were not frum enough in this or that matter. The usual run of the mill obnoxious behavior.

    Boruch Hashem I realized it before it was too late that I was missing out on the gadlus of the RBSH that he provides parnasah to people in so many fascinating ways, and that we are all interdependent on each others skills and talents. I feel much more ruchniyus and appreciation for the chochma of the RBSH and the incredible beauty of his world in the hashkafah of ahavas habriyos than I ever did in my older hashkafah of gayvah and bitul of everything. This I believe is the lesson the gemara teaches us in that when Reb Shimon bar Yochai came out of the cave, everywhere he looked he burnt with his eyes and he kept saying meneechin chayei olam voskin bchayei shaah. But a bas kol came down and said get back into your cave, you are destroying my world. A year later he saw yidden running around frantically in the market for tzorchei shabbos, and he understood that we need the physical world for ruchniyos, as well. At that point everywhere he would look, he would heal with his eyes. (He stopped being mevatel everything, and started to appreciate the hard work of people even if they were not learning full-time.)



    I’ve been reading this thread for a while although I havent addeed my comments yet… a few points if I may (sorry for their not being in order of the original comments)

    1. You say you break many halachos a day. Simply proves you are human. There is no human created who has not knowingly done something wrong, ever.

    2. About your so called “fake” relationship with Hashem. First it is not possible to have a fake relationship, either its there or its not. Aside from that even if you say you would be asking for the wrong things, you are still acknowledging to Hashems being in control, which is a big step in the right direction. Until the recent financial downturn, many people would have laughed in your face had you told them something like that.

    3. You mention that Hashem has never spoken to you. He has. He chose you to give this nisayon to instead of any number of kids your age who are sitting in yeshivas and bais yaakovs. This is simply the path which you are meant to travel to ultimately become the best person you can be. Keep in mind that if Hashem bothered to give it to you, he wants you closer to Him because He loves you. Someone I know was once observing a teacher. A student in the back was talking during the entire class. At the end of the period the teacher approached the student and said “dont think I didn’t see you, I just don’t care enough about you to do anything.

    4. I know I’m reiterating myself here (#1) but don’t be so hard on yourself. Even if you know you dont daven 3 times every day and as you say three quarters of what you do is wrong. You’re not helping anyone anyone and you’ll only succeed in putting yourself on a guilt trip. You are not bad. Hashem bothered to create you and he knows what Hes doing.

    5. Choose something small to do every single day, without fail. Not something major which will make a big thing. Something small, for you to know and no one else.

    P.S. You say when you daven you really mean it. I am jealous of that, and BTW, I have a feeling that no matter what you are physically doing that may be wrong, in your heart you know the right direction, and your teshuva is much more whole than many other people.


    Wow, all these replies are amazing. I’ve learnt so much for myself here…

    Here’s my question. I’d like my davening to be much better. Any practical tips?

    – I’ve started reviewing “Praying with Fire”.

    – I read a tip somewhere that each time one says the bracha of “modim” he should stop for a few seconds and think of 5 things to be thankful for. From the obvious (health, finances, family) to the mundane (found a parking spot, had a good supper, have a warm blanket, etc).

    – Although I do know the literal meaning of all/most of the davening, reading Rav Schwab on Prayer’s explanations has given me a better understanding of the deeepr meanings.


    squeak – a COMPLIMENT? wow. no further comments necessary.

    thanks, abcd, but i’m not that good. and what you said about fake relationship is right. that’s why it’s pointless to pretend.

    and yeh i know my heart is ok. it’s my mind that’s screwed up 😉

    ames, you mean you’re gonna take away the last thing that i have that’s still 100% frum? ok go ahead. Mo, it is. (by the way – there’s definitely no tzaddik with long payos at this end…)

    first of all, 1 and 2 are really connected. what i meant was, WHEN I HAVE A CHOICE i don’t do things that i don’t have to. if you held a gun to my head sure i’d be up at the crack of dawn and daven with a minyan in a hat and jacket. but i have a choice. that’s what this world is about. sure when i get a job i’ll pay taxes even if i don’t want to – because i really DO want to stay out of prison. and no i don’t want to do homework. if i was really forced to i would. but no one’s forcing me to do anything so i do what i want.

    now isn’t most of a mitzvah that’s bain adom lamokom about the intentions and not the actions? for sure tfilla is. if you handed me a novel and told me to stand up and read it like shmona esray it’s the exact same thing as reading the real thing without meaning it. just saying a bunch of words without any idea what i’m saying. it’s empty and therefore pointless.

    you can have a relationship with your kids without providing money for drugs. even if i asked, you think my dad would give me money for drugs? no way! he’d buy me anything in the world, but not something like that. and i do have a pretty good relationship with him. but i understand why he wouldn’t give me cash like that. if anything BECAUSE i have a decent relationship with him i stay far away from talking about drugs. he doesn’t need to know everything that i do.


    and oomis – because i’m a chicken and a wimp. (happy everyone? i said it.)


    I will repeat myself by your continuously saying your mind is screwed up, your begining a domino effect, which isprobably not creating anything good.

    And why is it pointless to pretend? eventually it will become a part of you.

    You say your heart is in the right place and I could gave told you that. It seems to me that deep down, you want to do good and be good and are looking for a way tyo accomplish that. Pray for it. strengthen your relationship with Hashem and no tefilla is ever wasted, if it wont help you today, itll help you tomorrow. it seems like you pray from the heart and there is nothing more complete and whole to HKB”H than a broken heart looking for solutions. I can tell you from experience, Hashem is a very good listener, and if you sincerely believe that He loves you, as no one else ever will or can, and that He wants the best for you. You will reverse directions and become greater. I only know you as a member of the CR, but it seems to me you are really a wonderful person whos looking for a light in a seemingly dark room. I guarantee you its there, but if you won’t look for it, you definitely can’t see it. Ask Him for help, because Hes the only one who can.


    ames, that’s not what i’m looking for! i’m looking for a heter to skip davening without feeling guilty! ok, ok i’m KIDDING!


    Wow! I was absent today and I just read through this thread. My brain’s a little overloaded, there’s so much to learn here.

    Ames-Thank you, I really appreciated what you wrote here.

    Moish- (yes, we’re keeping it moish, don’t know why anyone would choose to change that, and definitely A+ for trying lol, and I didn’t say I was proud of you this time.)

    About doing things that you do/don’t want to do- doing something bec a gun is being held to your head means you have no choice. Hashem wants us to choose to do what’s right, without force. Yes, we have free will to do what we please and Hashem protects the free will by not holding a gun to our heads, aka the “lightning strikes” school of thought. And then, because it was our choice to do the right thing, He can reward us for it.



    abcd: creepy teacher, by the way. sounds like my ninth grade rebbe.

    and don’t try to convince me that i’m closer to hashem than the guys that are sitting and learning all day. no shot.

    and ames i just reread your last long message (i think i sorta skimmed it last time) and i hate to let you down but you have NO idea who you’re talking to! just the fact that you picture payos means you’re on the wrong track! i highly doubt you’ve done anything worse than me there’s probably one sin that i’ve never done and that’s killing. ok, maybe i never did avoda zara either, but that one doesn’t count nowadays. you’re talking to the wrong person!



    1)”You have quoted a footnote which I do not know if I am required to believe is correct unless somebody shows me the original. (I do not have that sefer.)”

    Boy, you’re really desperate, eh?

    2)”I have not seen a single reason yet for the psak, and you have not supplied one.”

    Not that you deserve one – but – “hikkon” is a chiyuv whereas tefilla b’tzibbur is an “inyan”. The mechaber only says “yishtadel” to daven b’tzibbur. (Don’t go posting now that I’m mezalzel in t’filla b’tzibbur)

    3)”When a godol paskens, he is mechuyav to give reasons”

    A)Only to Hashem, not to you.

    B)And your the judge of the validity of his reasons? Your chutzpa is mind boggling.

    4)”Reb Moshe didn’t just write one-line teshuvahs saying “because I said so”.

    B)The Chazon Ish paskened that the Steiplers daughters should allow themselves to be killed “because I said so” – without giving a reason.

    5)”It occurred to me that possibly Reb Chaim may hold that tikun hamalbushim is meakev tefilah”

    The shaila here is what has kadima – that’s all.

    6)”I did the usual screaming against college, and against modern orthodox, and against various ethnic groups saying they were vilder chayas.”

    Now you’ve limited it to just screaming against people who try to be medakdek b’halacha. How noble.

    7)”I feel much more ruchniyus and appreciation for the chochma of the RBSH and the incredible beauty of his world in the hashkafah of ahavas habriyos than I ever did in my older hashkafah of gayvah and bitul of everything.”

    One should only be mevatel & mezalzel in those who speak publicly against b’nei torah & Rabbonim. Everyone else should be treated with the utmost respect.

    8)”(He stopped being mevatel everything, and started to appreciate the hard work of people even if they were not learning full-time.)”

    We appreciate anyone who tries to keep halacha even when it’s inconveinent instead of saying “I feel differently” or “that’s just one opinion” when they have no clue what they are talking about & don’t even know what section of Shulchan Aruch the halacha is discussed in.

    I happen to work for a living, the difference is that I look UP to b’nei torah.


    Thank you Joseph.



    The gemorah is not Pashut?:) You are Chayiv for being Mevayesh someone even though they personally are willing to embarass themselves. What is “not Pashut?”


    Why on earth would we be happy you said/feel that way?????

    Hashem only gives nisyonos to those that can handle them- that certainly says something AWESOME about you.

    I have to echo squeak & commend you for your deep questions.

    ames- I agree with oomis. You have a way with words, a passion for yiddishkeit that is truly contagious. I hope you are using this talent outside of the CR. Don’t be shy- it is a rare, incredible and an APRECIATED talent to have. Please utilize it


    areivim, isn’t that how all you frummies look at guys like me? wimps? so i said it for you.


    areivim – this isn’t a nisayon. i chose to do whatever i’m doing.

    and if it somehow is- do me a favor? send a message to god that i don’t need to be so awesome.


    don’t push the black hat. but yeah i’m sure i’ll keep shabbos and have a normal family. what else am i supposed to do when i’m 30? most guys don’t stay like me so what’s your point?

    and by the way i WAS on a few sick sites for a little while till my cousin put a filter on this computer. man, this thing is so strict and i haven’t figured out how to get past it!

    you sure don’t sound like any of my girl friends do, but hey you never know!

    and i don’t know what my problem is. you people don’t know ME – this place brings out a different person it’s so creepy but i would never say anything i say here. i’m usually so turned off from all this stuff.


    moish, you said, “areivim, isn’t that how all you frummies look at guys like me? wimps? so i said it for you. “

    And the answer is no, not at all. I’m really not sure where you get that from. Yes, perhaps there are some unfortunate people who might feel uncomfortable around you because they just are unsure how to relate to you. But look at you like a wimp? NO!!!!!!!!!!!! (that was for asdf)



    No moish, most people don’t look at “guys like you” as wimps. That’s because most of us struggle with the same feelings that you have. Some of us more than others. Some of us constantly. And the only reason why we’re still “frummies” is because we hash it out, whether it be with people or on our own (obviously with people is better).

    Now if you told me that you didn’t believe in God, then I’d call you a wimp. That’s a cop-out to deal with cognitive dissonance. But if you know what’s right and acknowledge it, that takes guts, especially when you have no interest in doing what that admission means you have to do. We all do wrong things. It’s just a question of minimizing it.



    “and if it somehow is- do me a favor? send a message to god that i don’t need to be so awesome.”

    – my (old) sentiments exactly. I used to think that all the time. I’d rather be a real weakling than be a strong person with all these nisyonos.

    PPS- this was all an inner struggle during my teenage years


    Moish the only aveira u didn’t do was kill?? Come on, that’s NOT true!!! As u no, there are 3 things a person rather be killed than doing and u no u did non of them!!! Plz tell me I’m correct!


    syrian- stop being so narrow minded. You dafka want moish to come out and say what he’s done? you’re egging him on and please, we’d like to be spared the griddy details.


    anonymisss – how do you know what i look like? 😉

    squeak – i’m not sure what all those terms mean and i’m not in the mood to look them up but i think i get the general picture. i think everyone really believes in god. they might challenge it, but they all know he exists. i’m not stupid so why would i use “not believing in god” as an excuse?

    areivim – i don’t think you get that i DO daven and i love davening. i’m just not makpid about the 3 times a day, with a minyan, and the zman. but sure i daven when i feel the need.

    syrian – i don’t know if this is the place for this conversation, but if you’re gonna get technical about them then maybe i didn’t do any of those three. ***Edited***


    Moish that was not what I intended and I apologoze if it came out that way. Maybe not now but it seems to me you have the potential to become a wonderful person who is very close to Hashem. You clearly come from a background with excellent hashkafos and you know whos boss around here. I think thats more than most people are willing to admit.


    I agree with this completely. I think Hashem wants open lines of communication – its ok to say things like “I am angry because…” We are not like Christians who have to go through an intermediary to talk to Hashem – we pray directly. Tefila doesnt have to be about only praising Hashem if thats not what you are up for.*

    * This is my personal opinion and to be honest, I don’t know how it fits into halacha, so maybe one of the more learned people can tell me if this is apikorsus or not.


    moish, you play football, right?





    SJS, I agree with you. I think (and I may be wrong) that the main idea of tefilla is to develop a relationship with God. So, if that would mean telling Him how you feel; angry, happy, hurt, confused, etc., then I believe that you are fulfilling the purpose of tefilla. Yes, one still must daven with a minyan, 3 times a day, at a certain time (with a hat?) and all that.



    oh anonymisss i didn’t get why you were asking i had to look back. ha ha i do not look like the football player type – i’m only like 5 ft 7 and i’m really thin. that’s why i wound up with a broken leg!

    hey that doesn’t mean i’m not a good player! i’m pretty good – better than some of the macho guys. ***edited***


    a wimp playing football?



    abcd – aren’t i already a wonderful person who is close to hashem? just kidding i won’t make you answer that. (i know what you’re gonna say anyway) and yeh i have great parents. thank god for that!


    i’m no wimp! i just said to make everyone else feel good about themselves. (ok maybe when it comes to religious things i cop out. but not in football and not in the rest of my daily life!)


    I’m sure you’re good at it, moish. Otherwise, it’s unlikely that you would love it so much.



    Areivem and moish: I was NOT asking for any details. Chill! I’m not being narrow minded..in a way I can relate to everything moish is saying (better than all of u can understand him)



    Please take these words off your site ASAP – they don’t belong here.

    *** DONE ***

    Thank you



    to notpashut,

    Your response was very sarcastic and condescending. So, I will give you your choice. Since ames chose to nickname moishe1 MO, what would you like to be called, Curly or Larry?


    There are three parts to tefila 1) praise of Hashem, because without our recognition of Him as the Source of all good, there is no point to any further tefila 2) bakasha, our personal requests and heartfelt pleas, which are considered to be the essence of tefila and 3) hodaa, expressions of our appreciation to Hashem for all He has done, does, and will do for us on a daily basis.

    Theoretically, if one has engaged in all three of these aspects of tefila, he has fulfilled the essential mitzvah of being mispallel. However, since the Anshei Knesset Hagedola instituted formal tefila, in a pattern that we still use today, it is good to follow that specific form, as they truly included every aspect of life in it. The Shemonah Esrai truly addresses all our needs, including leaving an area for private and personal bakasha to Hashem. What we sometimes tend to forget, is we do not have the right to feel a sense of entitlement where Hashem is concerned.Sometimes He doesn’t give us what we think we want and need, even when it is very, very important to us (like a refuah shelaima). It’s very hard to accept and understand that, but that is the middah that I am working on very strongly. Bitachon is easy when everything is OK.


    i guess i owe another apology to the chusheva coffeeroom.

    gee i wish one of you stop me BEFORE i lose control.

    i’m sorry moderators and i can only try.


    SJS, have no doubt that you are right. You can daven to/thank Hashem every second of your life, for anything you want. That shows a tremendous devaikus (purposely spelled it differently, so no wise guy makes a crack about Abie Rottenberg here). But you should also keep the prayers instituted by the Anshei Kenesses Hagedolah.

    moish, when you have time do look up the term that I used. I believe if you read about it you will find interesting things about yourself.


    googled it! now how does that explain me? i believe in god and believe that the torah’s true but i don’t follow it. i definitely don’t LIVE by it. i must be a freak of nature.






    No apology to me is needed. On any mainstream news site one can read things worse than what I asked the moderators to remove. Since this is a frum site where the standards of nikiyas haloshon are high, I thought those words were inappropriate.

    A subject often mentioned here is hypocrisy.

    In my mind there are several different levels:

    3) One who rebukes others for their transgressions and really means well, but occasionally slips up himself. Once again, an example I can think of is there are some shushkers in shul, who are usually quiet but may occasionally slip up.

    4) One who rebukes others for their transgressions and does not violate that particular aveira, but knows that he himself is far from perfect in other issues. For instance, he may be very careful with shul decorum, but his appearances at minyan are not very frequent.

    My two cents worth is:

    In the first case, the person is an absolute hypocrite.


    ICOT –

    In your first case, I more than agree with your assesment.

    In your second, if his intent is pure I think he is doing the correct thing. But it may not help all too much, as he will be seen hypocritically.

    In your third, I agree with your assessment, but would give him more credit for accomplishing good.

    In your fourth, you haven’t described your assessment of the matter, but I do agree with your description.


    I can only try: i hate reading long post, so i’ll just say agree!!!


    asdf i completely agree-the longer the post the less likely i am to read it…im into the short and to the point posts


    I liked the breakdown ICOT, agree.

    I’m not sure though the 2nd category should be rebuking. Rebuke is a sensitive issue and gnerally is only accepted from someone who is correct/careful in that area.


    I would consider this category to be very destructive. They are in effect using Halacha as a weapon against others. Often they have some status of power and they are using our religion as a tool to exercise their power. I for one would rather daven without a minyan than associate myself with such evil, even if I was at the far end of the shul away from them. I very much doubt such people have “pure intentions”, and even if they do such behavior is so destructive that “Shogeg” (lack of intention to sin) is not much of a defense.


    hey I can only try, i have real question for you. (this is gonna be chinese for everyone else, but you’ll get it.)

    you know what you had edited from that post of mine? was i at least right? i don’t remember this stuff… i dunno why i just got really scared…


    ICOT I think your assessment is pretty good. I would also add though, that people are very particular to who they take tochacha from. If a stranger gave me tochacha, I wouldnt listen (as they have no idea who I am, where I am coming from, what I am struggling with)…but if I knew a person in category 1 who knew where I was coming from, I still might take tochacha from them because they know the background and might still know if its appropriate for me.

    This shabbos we went to the “other” shul in my neighborhood because my cousins made a kiddush. They daven there because its more “frum” (their words not mine). Anyway, I asked my husband if he thought the shul was more frum than ours and this is he what he said:

    1) All the men wear jackets (its about 70/30 with jackets in my shul)

    2) Half the men showed up after Shemonah Esrei

    3) Large groups of people talked non-stop during davening

    So, is the shul more “frum”? Issue 2 and 3 are virutally non-existant in my shul (the Rav is very strict on talking in shul) and for the most part people show up on time. I would call my shul more observant even though some people don’t wear jackets because the people who don’t wear them didn’t grow up with wearing jackets to shul and still dress in very nice clothing.


    SJSinNYC, how long does davening take in your shul and how long in your cousin’s shul?


    Ok I’m gonna sound really stupid now and especially after 214 posts!!! But what does Beyechidus mean?! Lol

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