davening in public

Home Forums Bais Medrash davening in public

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 51 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1281385

    mik5
    Participant

    How do you say asher yatzar (or other brachos) when you are in public?

    For example, if you are at work and you need to say asher yatzar or a bracha on thunder/ lightning, how would you do it? Would you cover your mouth with your hand? Would you pick up the telephone and pretend that you are talking on the phone?

    Or would you just say it normally and not care about the stares of the goyim?

    #1281405

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Since muslims throw down a carpet and pray anywhere so can we especially for short Brochos that you are referring to.

    #1281404

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Most of us manage to find a “private” place, even when in “public” to say barachos. I don’t know many frum yidden who would march out of a public bathroom at any airport or shopping mall and start shuttling back and forth with kavanah and do a loud, vocal rendition of “asher yatzar” using a nigun attributed to his rebbe. Its almost always possible, even in public, to find a corner spot or behind a column etc. to make a baracha, whatever the circumstances, without calling a lot of attention to oneself.

    #1281403

    Joseph
    Participant

    Why should you be embarrassed to proudly and openly act like a Yid In public and wear your Judaism on your sleeve??

    #1281421

    mik5
    Participant

    When I am at home or among frum Yidden, I usually make brachos loudly and with great dveikus. (By the way, there are some entertaining videos on youtube of Chassidic rabbis making the bracha on sefiras haomer. Quite amusing.) Are you, Joseph, suggesting that I should do the same when in public (for example, at a public library)?

    #1281447

    mik5
    Participant

    I know of people who pick up the phone and pretend to be talking into it when they bentch at work (the same would apply by asher yatzar, but this bracha is shorter and can be said quickly, unlike bentching which is longer). I know of a rav who put his arm in a cast to avoid shaking a lady’s hand during a job interview.

    Even people who wear tzitzis out in the workplace do not “hang ’em low.” Do Chassidic people who work among goyim wear their tallis katan over their shirts at work? Do they wear their Hasidic levush at work? Would they bring a shtreimel at work if they had to go to work on Chol Hamoed or some day that they consider to be a holiday (e.g., Lag Ba’omer or Pesach Sheini or some other day that Hasidim, and to a lesser extent, other Yidden, treat like a holiday)? Do Litvishe people walk around at work wearing a black hat? Does that mean that people are embarrassed to be Jewish when in public?

    I once saw a Hasidic guy eating an apple on the train and it was obvious that he put his mouth into his sleeve when he whispered the bracha.

    #1281487

    Joseph
    Participant

    I’m not suggesting that you violate the rules of the library or wherever you are if they have a rule against loud talking. Then go outside and say you tefilos at your full kavana and loudness in public without being embarrassed.

    #1281526

    Joseph
    Participant

    Yes, the Chasidim and Litvaks wear their full Yiddushe levush to work, whether a black hat every day, shtreimal on chol hamoed, bekeshe/lange rekel every day, etc. and make their brochos normally without being embarrassed to do so.

    #1281593

    mik5
    Participant

    One time I was offered something at work that was cholov stam, and the lady showed me the OU-D and said, ‘See? It’s kosher. You can eat it.” How does one explain himself out of such a situation? Should I claim to be lactose intolerant? But on a different day they will see me eating my cholov Yisroel yogurt!

    Another time – at a different job – they offered me something with a hechsher that I was not familiar with, supposedly from a Jewish bakery, but I had no idea if it was pas yisroel and yoshon. How does one explain such things?

    If one just said the words Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam (e.g., of asher yatzar) and there is a goy who asks you a question, what should you do? (It happened to me one time but I had only said Baruch ata Hashem so I quickly ended off with lamdeini chukecha.)

    #1281947

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    One time I was offered something at work that was cholov stam, and the lady showed me the OU-D and said, ‘See? It’s kosher. You can eat it.” How does one explain himself out of such a situation?

    Explain that it is kosher, but there are different standards for kosher, and you only eat dairy products where the milking was watched by an observant Jew.

    #1281951

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    As a matter of tzinius, we don’t seek to call attention to ourselves in a public venue in any aspect of our haskafah. At the same time, we don’t need to “hide” either if the occasion arises for making a baracha or any other mitzvah. The point is to use common sense and “modesty” in all aspects of our lives. B’H, we live today, for the most part, where we have nothing to fear from the free and open exercise of our religion.

    #1282083

    mik5
    Participant

    Another situation: I am sitting in an office with a lady. I want to leave the door open to avoid all shailas of yichud. The lady goes and closes it because it is “cold.” (I am forced to rely on the fact that I am sitting by the window and people can see in from the street. But I would prefer for the door to be open, as well, as not all parts of the room are necessarily visible from the street.)

    #1282120

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Mik5: on the candy issue you can say things like:

    1. I had meat for lunch and I don’t eat dairy after meat.
    2. I don’t like that candy.
    3. I am watching my weight.
    4. I appreciate it but I am not hungry right now.

    #1282122

    DovidBT
    Participant

    “If one just said the words Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam (e.g., of asher yatzar) and there is a goy who asks you a question, what should you do? (It happened to me one time but I had only said Baruch ata Hashem so I quickly ended off with lamdeini chukecha.)”

    What about smiling and holding up your hand, as if to say “please wait,” just as you might do if you were in the middle of a conversation with another person?

    #1282193

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    One time I was offered something at work that was cholov stam, and the lady showed me the OU-D and said, ‘See? It’s kosher. You can eat it.” How does one explain himself out of such a situation?

    Say, “I’m fleishig.” She’ll understand.

    For the OP, I totally understand the struggle; I find benching to be the hardest, but there’s no heter to just not say brachas. In fact, the Misnah Berura says you should be more brazen with your mitzvos around secular society and more humble and kept to yourself around fellow Jews. I’m not calling you out for the situation you described as I think 90%+ of the frum world also gets it backwards.

    #1282235

    Joseph
    Participant

    That’s all I’m advocating. We should all adhere to the Mishna Brura.

    #1282332

    TheGoq
    Participant

    I frequently get customers who I think are talking to me only to find out they are on their bluetooth.

    #1282512

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Mik5, I feel I have to mention this. Why do you think videos of Rebbes making brochos on sefiras haomer are amusing?! It sounds disrespectful, which I’m sure it wasn’t. I just want to understand. Personally I find it inspiring.

    Maybe if you made brochos with half that haslahavus, people wouldn’t interrupt you, and understand that you are ‘talking’ to a Higher Authority.

    #1282628

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Not ashamed to have arteries, but I don’t go around shoving them in your face.

    #1282645

    apushatayid
    Participant

    regarding levush, tzitzis, brachos and i’ll add using a yiddish name to the list.

    If someone can show up to work with nose rings, tatoos, a hijab or a name like shaniqua, then obviously jewish attire, making a bracha at your desk (not sure about out loud, since you dont expect the goy to say amen) a yarmulka or a jewish name should be perfectly normal, acceptable and not out of place.

    #1282651

    mik5
    Participant

    It was obvious that I had not eaten meat, because it was in the morning and nobody eats meat for breakfast. (OK, maybe some people do – but probably not.)

    #1282655

    mik5
    Participant

    Depends on what the name is. (Could be hard for a goy to pronounce).

    What if the boss walks in, with an entourage of chashuve people (goyim), after you said Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam of the first bracha of bentching? And you cannot greet them, right? And then the lady sticks out her hand in greeting, and you cannot even explain yourself, right? Nor can you continue to bentch, because there is erva and we cannot pray where there is erva. What would you do in such a case?

    #1282689

    Joseph
    Participant

    Making a loud brocha isn’t only for when there’s a Yid within earshot to say Amen.

    #1282690

    Joseph
    Participant

    Goyim eat meat for breakfast.

    #1282691

    Joseph
    Participant

    You remember the story in the Gemora of the Amora in middle of shemone esrei when the king greeted him?

    #1282787

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “(Could be hard for a goy to pronounce).”

    Therefore? If you are expected to deal with Shaniqua, Ramparparinder, Toupac and Xio Liu then there is no reason to be concerned with Yechezkel or Yerachmiel.

    I dont know your circumstances, but, walk in implies you have an office. If bentching, shut the door. Otherwise, ask you Rav.

    #1282782

    mik5
    Participant

    Joseph – Correct, but especially in such a case (that there is another Jew there to say Amen) one should (according to some opinions) make the bracha out loud. However, says the Ben Ish Chai, if you know that this person won’t say Amein (however it is that you know this – for example, he is frei or he is busy texting) then you should not say it out loud because it is lifnei iver (he will be mevatel the chiyuv d’rabbonin of answering Amein).

    #1282800

    DovidBT
    Participant

    “What if the boss walks in, with an entourage of chashuve people (goyim), …”

    If I had known when I was younger what I know now, I would have made it a top priority to start my own business and be my own boss, instead of having to work for someone else.

    #1282801

    mik5
    Participant

    Joseph – Yes, there is such a story. So, what, practically speaking, would you do in the case described above re:

    (a) greeting people in the middle of bentching?
    (b) responding to the outstretched hand of the lady in the middle of bentching, which, as we discussed earlier, the Steipler and the Chazon Ish both rule that I must let myself be burned alive rather than shake her hand?

    #1282808

    mik5
    Participant

    If such a situation already arose, it is too late to ask a rav. Anyway, I don’t need to ask a rav, even if such a situation arose, because the halacha is clear that one may not speak during bentching. It is the same as SE. One may certainly not speak after having said the first six words of bentching, as doing so will involve two issurim of Sheim Hashem l’vatala. Likewise, one may not shake hands with some random lady at work, as ruled clearly by Rav Moshe Feinstein and the Chazon Ish. Therefore, what is one to do? I am awaiting Joseph’s brilliant response.

    #1282822

    mik5
    Participant

    There was a story with a certain big rabbi (Rabbi Zilber) who was approached by an anti-Semitic lady while he was in the middle of SE. The rav grabbed his chest and pointed at his mouth like he was having a heart attack and couldn’t breathe. By the time that medical assistance was summoned, he had finished davening and indicated that he now felt better.

    In a case that a lady extended her hand to him, the rav purposely made himself trip and fall, and the lady ended up grabbing him by the elbow instead of by the hand. (Keep in mind that this was in Communist Russia.)

    #1282833

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    I bentch from a siddur so if someone comes into my office they see I am praying and either wait or they leave and come back in 5 minutes.

    As for the candy….you can say I just had breakfast and I am not hungry. BTW, many chassidim still make a fleishigs seuda for a morning bris.

    As for names….all my children have their hebrew names on their birth certificates.

    #1282874

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Mik, at this point these are legitimate shailos, not philosophical discussion items. There are times throughout davening where it is mutar to interrupt to prevent a financial loss. The fact that such halachah exists, proves that we are NOT to just make it up as we go and cut out whatever part of Torah makes our working lives difficult.

    #1282915

    Defend Chabad
    Participant

    Seriously!? Davening in public is a tremendous kiddish hashem! It says “וראו כל עם הערת כי שם ה׳ נקרא עליך וירא מימיך”
    “And all the nations (goyim) will say that HaShem’s name is upon you (tefillin) and they will fear you.
    The previos Lubavitcher rebbe put on tefillin in jail behind the back of the Russian officers who clearly told him it was strictly forbidden. When the officer turned around and noticed this, he shoved the rebbe down the staircase and gave him a sharp kick. While he was on the floor at the bottom of the staircase, bleeding from head to toe, he continued davening shema!

    #1282922

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Have we now invented some chumrah against eating fleishig for breakfast….leftover Chulent on Sunday morning…yummm

    #1282953

    yehudayona
    Participant

    I’ve been to a bris in the morning where the seudah was fleishig.

    #1282954

    yehudayona
    Participant

    Shudder.

    #1283159

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    There are several hotel restaurants in EY with hashgacha where one can order an off-menu fleishig dish for breakfast that is served from the regular (dinner) kitchen with all the proper precautions; the general preference NOT to serve fleishig is simply the logistics of offering both milchig and fleishig meals concurrently and the likelihood that the wait staff mixing up dishes, utensils, etc. obviously, if one is grabbing his/her own breakfast at home, these are not concerns as would be the case in a commercial setting.

    Edited

    #1283394

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    mik5,

    For example, if you are at work and you need to say asher yatzar or a bracha on thunder/ lightning, how would you do it? Would you cover your mouth with your hand? Would you pick up the telephone and pretend that you are talking on the phone?

    There is a middle ground between the two extremes of acting embarrassed to do a mitzva and doing the mitzva in a way that is disruptive to the environment you are in. Asher yatzar is, for me, the “toughest” to do in public, but I will pause outside of the bathroom and say it quietly. If someone looks at me quizzically, I will politely smile and hold up my hands. Most people are smart enough to put two and two together – the kippa and tzitzis, doing something unfamiliar, he must be doing a “Jewish thing”). As for bircas hamazon, I agree with iacisrmma – it is extremely helpful to look in a bentcher while bentching. This lets passers by know that you are praying. Have you never put on tefillin in public?

    #1283412

    Avram in MD
    Participant

    mik5,

    One time I was offered something at work that was cholov stam, and the lady showed me the OU-D and said, ‘See? It’s kosher. You can eat it.” How does one explain himself out of such a situation? Should I claim to be lactose intolerant? But on a different day they will see me eating my cholov Yisroel yogurt!

    It doesn’t have to be complicated; just be super nice and show gratitude. Smile, and say, “oh, no thank you, but I really appreciate how thoughtful you are for finding this!” If she went through a lot of trouble to get it, or she’s likely to do it again, then you probably should politely and concisely explain your kashrus standards.

    If one just said the words Baruch ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Haolam (e.g., of asher yatzar) and there is a goy who asks you a question, what should you do? (It happened to me one time but I had only said Baruch ata Hashem so I quickly ended off with lamdeini chukecha.)

    Smile and hold up a finger, finish the bracha, then apologize and explain that you were making a blessing. If they ask what the blessing was about, you can say that Jews make many blessings throughout the day for various reasons, and that this one was thanking G-d for your body and health.

    #1283421

    mik5
    Participant

    “HOLD UP YOUR HANDS”

    Hmmm… To show that you don’t have any weapons? Is one permitted to make gestures to other people while reciting a bracha?

    #1283431

    Avi K
    Participant

    Some gentiles also have a grace after meals so you can just tell them the truth. The same goes for other berachot. However, one should be loud about, even in one’s home. People who do that imply that they think that Hashem is hard of hearing c”v (Berachot 24b).

    #1283441

    mik5
    Participant

    However, one should be loud about, even in one’s home. People who do that imply that they think that Hashem is hard of hearing c”v (Berachot 24b).

    HUH?

    What the Gemara is saying applies only to SE. By other brachos, on the contrary, it is good to say it out loud, so that you will have better kavana and so that other people can say Amein.

    #1283502

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    All these comments about the volumetric levels of asher yatzar etc. presume the individual has a modicum of common sense and situational awareness such that one is not disruptive of others or otherwise draw attention to himself unnecessarily. If you are on an airplane, it would be grossly inappropriate to return to one’s seat from the lav and then perform a very loud rendition of asher yatzar so that all your fellow passengers know you have successfully performed some bodily functions. Likewise, in a nice restaurant, you wouldn’t disrupt the dining of others nearby by being unnecessarily loud in a baracha or birchas ha’mazon (whereas in a Pizza shop you might not be so worried about adding to the already high decibel level).

    #1283495

    apushatayid
    Participant

    If you are concerned about being interuppted during asher yatzar. go quickly back to your desk, pick up the phone like you have a call and sau the bracha. Unless your boss/coworker is a complete dolt, they wont interrupt.

    #1283492

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “If such a situation already arose, it is too late to ask a rav.”
    No it isnt. It can happen again.

    ” Anyway, I don’t need to ask a rav, even if such a situation arose, because the halacha is clear that one may not speak during bentching.”

    So, why are you asking us here?

    #1283787

    mik5
    Participant

    I am going to be talking on the phone, and people will see no (audible) words coming out of my mouth, but merely the lips moving? I will be talking on the phone without dialing any numbers?
    Or I will say it audibly (and people will realize that I am talking in a language other than English)?
    I am not asking for halachic advice, but rather for thoughts and practical advice.

    I received the following response from a certain rav to whom I described the above-mentioned situation:

    You are portraying an awkward situation. First of all if he is bentching with kavana, they will all see that he is praying, and they will respect him for that. HE can also say the words louder so they will understand that he is doing something religious. After he is finished he can politely explain that he was praying, and thanking G-d for the food that he just ate, which is one of our commandments. Other than that we have to know that there are times that we will have nisyonos, and we will be rewarded for it… and it might also cause them to respect him for it more.

    #1283819

    mik5
    Participant

    I know of a story of a man that was in negotiations with a big company in Japan over a million dollar deal. When he got to Japan he met the vice president of the company, a woman, who extended her hand to him, and he politely explained to her that it is against his religion to have physical contact with any woman other than his wife. after the meeting he was told that the company will give him an answer in two weeks. He thought, “That it after all of that I blew it” and he was all dejected. Two weeks later he got an answer from the company that they want to double the original order. Their reason was that if this man can stand up to his ideals even in an awkward situation, that means that he is a man of principles and values, and therefore they want to do business with him!!:

    #1283878

    mik5
    Participant

    iacisrmma The Muslims are brazen, as the Torah tells us – Yishmael shall be a wild man. Therefore, they do this sort of thing (throwing down carpets).

    But we are bashful, as Chazal say. We are embarrassed about this sort of thing (to pray in public).

    #1284131

    Avi K
    Participant

    Mik, please cite your source for saying berachot loudly (more than enough for someone to ear so he can say “Amen” – and BTW, if a gentile says a blessing to Gd a Jew must answer “Amen” (Rema OC 215:2 and see http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?pgnum=74&req=1809&st= for a different opinion ). It could be that as bnei Noach are commanded to believe in Hashem, at least to become chassidei Umot Haolam if one knows that the gentile will answer “Amen” it might be could to say it so that he can hear it after explaining it (use your common sense – it is the fifth section of the SA).

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 51 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


Trending