Tircha D’tzibbura (Long Davening)

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    Pashuteh Yid

    While I went to a very warm shul for RH davening, with a wonderful Rov, I found that it was on the long side, although there are other shuls and yeshivas which are quite a bit longer. The davening took 6 hours including a 1/2 hour break. I am wondering where the inyan of very long davenings came into being.

    We know that the gemara strictly limits a yontof daveing to 5 aliyos, so as not to strain the kahal. Yet an aliyah takes 5 minutes. Now we are adding on hours onto the regular davening. Even without skipping any piyutim, I think a baal tefilah could do the davening in 3.5 hours without rushing people, and still have time for some niggunim.

    While kavanah is important, I am not sure there is any correlation between the time and the kavanah. Do an experiment, read an article on YW at your normal speed. Now read it 5 times slower. You will not understand it any better, nor will anybody you read it to understand it any better if you read it to him 5 times slower than your normal speaking rate. If anything, it will have the opposite effect, and get the listener bored and annoyed. Try it, don’t take my word for it.

    Why does kavanah need to be linked to very slow davening? The extra time prevents people from learning and from being with their families. For young kids in 5th-6th grades, it is absolute torture to sit still for 6 hours.

    The gemara tells stories of tannaim and amoraim who attended shiurim, and also went on trips and visits to their rebbeim even on Yom Kippur.

    I do not favor rushing people, just for chazzanim not to dwell on a single word in chazaras hashas for extended periods of time. They do this even when there is no niggun that calls for it. You can tell from looking at the faces of many people that they are plotzing and getting quite annoyed, and that this does not enhance their davening or kavanah, but actually has the opposite effect.

    Any thoughts? Does the YW crowd believe that there is a link between slowness and kavanah?


    I don’t know where you guys were davening. We started at 6:30am; took a 15 minute break for kiddush and finished at 2pm – 7.5 hours. I agree that the drawn out davening could have been cut by an hour or so – but 3???


    our davening started 8 am and finished 12:45. It did not feel rushed and we had plenty of niggunim. There is no reason to stretch it out two more hours


    we start at eight and end at 1:00, a mechaya.


    I Davven in a minyan starting 7:30am and finish 3:30pm which is what everyone would call long. But It’s so beautiful i don’t even look at my watch once the whole davvening. This is one time of year that you really connect with your creater and I could spare a few hours to beseech of him for a good year i don’t know about you!


    there definitely is a link to slowness and kavana (but to a limit). Reading a ywn article is not a good comparison. When we are davening there is much deeper meaning behind each words and one tries to relate it to themselves. It could be in some places davening is too shlepped out though.

    I do have an other complaint that I wonder if any of you agree with. Since in the ezras nashim the davening is quiet. (as opposed to the men where everyone davens out loud) I find it extremely irritating when I find myself standing near a woman who davens, not in a whisper but with a very low voice. I understand that she was probably trying to be makpid that she hears every word and did not intend to irritate me but I found it really hard to consentrate when I have this person near me davening in such an annoying way.

    Any ideas how to deal with such a situation if I find myself in the same boat on Yom Kippur?

    (I know on the yomim noraim especially I should try to tolerate others but it is REALLY hard)


    Just to put in my two cents, where I officiated we started at 9:00 (which I think is way too late) and were done at 2:45 the first day and at 2:00 the second. My mussafim took around two hours, and that was with quite a bit of chazzanut.


    Intellegent, is it possible for you to get a different seat or trade with someone who doesn’t mind. that would drive me nuts as well, I don’t blame you.



    I will be across the ocean by yom kippur so I doubt I will be davening near her! (But there are others like her…) I actually ended up near her because I was sitting in the seat next to mine. Someone accidentally sat in my seat… I made sure to get my seat back and she wasn’t there the whole time (although she kept switching seats so ended up near me a few times…)

    Whatever, hopefully I will only have quiet daveners near me in New York!


    so much to doven for…



    …shidduchim for your children/grandchildren (even when they are still small)

    …shidduch for others

    …the childless

    …those at risk

    …parents of those at risk

    …shalom bayis

    …shalom in general


    so little time in Shul to doven.

    (we started at 8 and finished around 1:30/quarter to 2)

    may our tefillas be answered and may we all be inscribed for good!

    Pashuteh Yid

    I am not in any way saying we shouldn’t pour our hearts out to the RBSH, as Chazal say halevai sheyispallel odom kol hayom kulo. However, I once heard in the name of Rav Kook that any time a person asks the RBSH something, that is considered tefilah, it is not only in shul. For example, if one is in the supermarket and looks at the prices, and says, RBSH please give us parnasa, look how expensive everything is, and we need food on the table. That is a heartfelt tefilah, and you can be sure it was said with pure kavanah. However, davening for 8 hours would seem to be a tircha dtzibura, and very painful to some.

    One should be sensitive to the kahal, and if they seem to be enjoying the niggunim and singing along, then that is fine. However, if they are staring off into space and looking very uncomfortable and having to stand on their feet while a chazan takes 20 minutes to say misod chachamim unevonim seems unreasonable. One can still have a very emotional, warm and melodious davening in much less than 8 hours. If one wants to stay late after davening is over and spend more time on kavanah or extra piyutim, than kol hakavod, but to force entire tzibbur including kids to stay for 8 hours seems to be stretching it.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Mdlevine, one very nice list of things actually appears in the long Tashlich in the Artscroll siddur, including that women should give birth safely, and that travelers should always have a safe trip, etc. Still, that whole tashlich takes less than a half hour. There are also various yehi ratzons that appear in the kedushah where one can ask for good children. Even if you say everything with much kavanah, I still think it would take far less than 8 hours.

    Anyway, the most important thing about any shul is the warmth and friendliness of the people and the Rov. As long as everybody is comfortable and happy with their davening, then gezunteheit. However, we need to make sure we are not stressing our kids. Adults can always take a sefer and learn (as long as the chazzan is not keeping them on their feet too long). But kids keep asking when is davening going to be over. You don’t want them to come away dreading Rosh Hashana all year.


    Well, we started at 8 and finished at four!!! That makes it 8 hours(with a 45 min break)!!!!!!There’s just so much to Daven for!

    If the Davening takes too long for some and you therefore cannot concentrate fully, you should really go Daven in a Shul where they Daven at a quicker pace.

    It was just so beautiful, we didnt rush, but we didnt take our time majorly either. We just said every Tefilla at a nice pace, sang a nice Niggun here and there, and hopefully our Tefillos reached Shomayim!


    pashute yid,

    takeh I was wondering the same thing.

    the shul I attended started 8am and ended 3.20.

    half the shul was sleeping!


    i davened with my yeshiva

    we started at 8, and finished at 3

    i dont think that anyone who took the davening seriously found it to be long


    Pashuteh Yid-

    Maybe I can be considered a pashuteh yid too? Do you have a copyright on the screen name…LOL

    Every post you write is thoughtful, intelligent and well written.

    Halevai oif alleh Yidden gezugt!


    muchcommonsense – how does your shul finish on Yom Kippur?

    I’m a slow davener – I find it just takes me a long time to say (strange, because I read really fast…). I am always left davening musaf on Rosh Hashanah about 20 minutes longer than everyone else.

    There is a difference between a long davening and a schlepped out one – long davenings are beautiful. They inspire you and keep your mind on your goal. Schlepped out davenings (even though they are the exact same words and even length possibly) are torture. I think its a real testament to who is davening if they can keep the congregation actively engaged. Where I grew up, the Rabbi’s son davened and was unbelievably inspiring (especially because he has such a pure soul).

    This was my first year where I couldnt be in shul much (I had a baby recently). I missed it a lot. The shul president got up before musaf and said to the congregation “This is a long musaf. Lets not expect more from our children then they can handle. Please send them to the basement so that the shul can properly concentrate.” [this is not a direct quote, just the basics of what he said] The kids who couldnt handle the sitting still and quiet for that long went downstairs to the teachers that were hired to watch the kids. It was a beautiful musaf.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Yanky, thanks for the kind words. May you and your family be blessed with a shana tova umesuka along with all klal yisroel.


    At our shul here in Dallas it is 5 hours in all starting at 8. Any longer (unless you have a good Kiddush break) leads to stress in many people. Stress leads to anger. Anger leads to many sins.

    Gemar Tov to Y’all!!!


    I davened at a shule up the street which had 4 minyanim going. I davened with the Sephardi minyan that began at 7:30 (Hodu) and finished at about 11. No drasha, no shlepped out me shebayrachs, but there was singing. The main minyan began at 7:30 and finished a bit after 12. They had a “choir” with the chazzan and a drasha. My kids went to the 7 a.m. minyan which finished at about 11 or so. (Also no drasha.) I think what shleps it out are the long me shebayrachs that go on forever, and many of the drashos that go on and on.

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