makom kavua in shul

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    My son went to shacharis this morning in a shul with an earlier minyan than his regular minyan. He sat down, and a moment later a very rude man gestured to him roughly and told him to move, that this was his seat. My son DID move and said, he was sorry if he inconvenienced the other person, and the other guy yelled back that if my son went to shul regularly, he would KNOW that it’s assur to sit in someone else’s seat.

    I know (and more important, my SON knows)the inyan of a makom kavua (and isn’t it within 4 amos of the original makom?), but was it not FAR worse of an issur to a) embarrass my son by yelling at him to move in a public way and b) to further embarrass him by implying that my son doesn’t usually go to shul?

    It happens that my son davens in minyan three times a day EVERY day. He specifically went to this shul because it enabled him to make the minyan and still catch a very early train that he needed to make today.

    Am I wrong to feel that this bulvan should have had someone set him straight about his boorish behavior?



    You are correct.

    This ???? is a perfect example of how people use halacha to justify their bad middos.

    He wanted the seat because he is jerk, not because he wanted to keep a halacha, but he blamed it on halacha. What a chillul Hashem.



    The Gemara learns out the idea of having a makom kavu’a for davening from Avraham, about whom the Torah indicates he returned to the same place to daven. But what is the significance of davening in the same place every day? I once heard a vort as follows: The first time Avraham davened was for Sodom, it was after that story that we find he returned to his place and davened again. What is very significant about that is that Hashem did not listen to him the first time, as Hashem ended up destroying Sodom! A regular person might have said, I must not be davening in the right spot, I must not be saying the right words, etc. etc. But Avraham said, no, if I wasn’t answered it is because I need to be better, ??? ???? ???? ??? ??, and the place hardly matters. Therefore the next time he davened he returned to exactly the same place where he had not been answered before, because he wanted to show that he understood what really mattered.

    In light of this pshat I think it is ironic that someone would actually hurt someone else in order to never miss sitting in his makom kavu’a. You are right, he completely missed the boat, and hopefully someone will set him straight.



    No you are not wrong

    Tell me when this guy sed it’s his seat is it his paid for seat in shul or stam a shteebel where people pick seats



    If he’s late for shul, he lost his seat. Guests don’t have to stand the entire davening because any seat might have a regular occupant – who might show up at any late hour of the tefila.



    Perfect example of people using halacha to be jerks. It’s endemic and the only thing that will help is making middos a more integral part of the culture.


    always here

    shameful behavior 2x on this man’s part.

    maybe something else happened in his life (that day?), but, regardless, his behavior was absolutely unacceptable & uncalled for. such anger shown to your son was inappropriate!



    yes he acted incorrectly and horribly but hes probably still a little groggy not a good excuse there is no good excuse for his behavior he should be ashamed of himself


    I’m an introvert, so I would rather recognize that this man was also created for me. If I wouldn’t deserve it, this man would not have been a shliach for my embarrassment and either I have something to learn here, or I should pay the man for his “Get out of Gehenom Free” card that he gave me.

    Like whoever said it: daygeh for my ruchniyos and yenem’s gashmiyus



    Thank you for all your thoughtful replies. I am proud that my son did not respond in kind to this man. To answer you, DHM, my son did learn something from this and that is that some people act like behaimas for whatever reason, and we can only control how we act and react to them, and I would rather he be who HE is than who that other person is.



    I heard a good comeback. :

    “Be careful when you ask for a Makon Kavua, especially in shul. Hashem might just give you one for good.”



    If possible, I try to guide guests to seats that are readily (and willingly) amde availabvle to newcomers, and that the only person in the room that has a mokom kavua (which is non-negotiable) is the Rabbi.

    The other idiots that will ask you to move from their seat (and we have a few), are not members of our shul…. they are members of Anshei Middas Sidom, and just pop in here once in a while.

    But you’re best off not sitting in their seat anyways. What they have might be contageous, so play it safe and sit elsewhere)



    Our shul has a strict rule: No regular Mispallel has a Makom K’vuah when a guest is seated or needs a seat; under no circumstances will a guest be told that he is sitting in someone’s Makom. Also, if a regular Mispallel is already sitting and a guest needs a seat, he must offer his chair to the guest.



    I can understand if someone has a seat that he PAYS annual membership for then it’s in his rights to kick others out

    I mean imagine bein hazemanim and shul is packed with brochurim and you won’t find a seat within several rows from where you daven

    Should you find a seat or make him ?

    But a shul should have some benches or other where anyone can sit

    That being sed don’t yell at him like the antagonist in the OP



    Cherrybim – how gracious your shul is!!!!! We do likewise in regard to not asking someone to move, but there are always plenty of seats available in my shul.

    MDG, your comeback was a good one. My son would never say it to someone, though.



    oomis1105 – there are stories of yiden who were turned off from frumkeit when they were repeatedly told to move from any chair they sat at in shuls they were visiting. It says something about the shul and also about the leaders who allow this to go on. I hope they don’t treat guests in their homes like this too.

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