September 13, 2009 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #590403
Where I live, there really is a lack of places for ladies to go for davening, assuming that they are able to go to shul. The following is true in my neighborhood, and I must assume it is true in other areas of my town, and in other towns as well. There are regular small Shabbos minyonim that have no minyan at all for the Yomim Noraim, because the men want to daven in Yeshiva (or in a larger shul), and who can blame them? However, if they were to participate in a local minyon, this would make many seats available for women at that minyan.
By the time we returned to Yerushalayim, it was close to 7:00 p.m. Nevertheless, Rabbi Friedman, of the magnificent Belzer synagogue, waited for us and welcomed us. The beauty of the Belzer shul is beyond words, but even more significant is that every part of the shul, down to the smallest detail, was constructed under the supervision of the Belzer Rebbe.
What I found most inspiring was the beautiful story that Rabbi Friedman related about the old Belzer Rebbe. When the Rebbe built his original shul in Europe, the women’s section was not yet completed, although the men’s section was ready. The men were anxious to begin davening there, but the Rebbe would not grant them permission. He explained that the tears of the women were needed to ensure that the prayers of the men would reach the Heavenly Throne.
… by the time we arrived in Amukah, we found ourselves in total darkness. There were no lights or candles to illuminate our path. Nevertheless, our group was determined… so we slowly made our way to the graveside of Rabbi Yonasan Ben Uziel. Since it was pitch black and we couldn’t see anything, there was no point in opening our siddurim or Tehillim, so we decided to offer prayers from our hearts.
Then, as if from nowhere, chassidim appeared, carrying breathtaking lights. We felt as if they were malachim from Hashem sent to give us illumination. But when they came close, they told us that we were standing in the men’s section, and we women would have to relinquish the place.
For a split second we were disappointed, but then I decided to speak to them and related the story of the old Belzer Rebbe, who taught that the prayers and tears of women were needed to open the Heavenly Gates. Without a moment’s hesitation, they agreed to let us daven first, while they remained outside to daven Maariv.September 14, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am #659058
I’ve never lived in a place where there wasn’t room for women to daven.September 15, 2009 4:20 am at 4:20 am #659059
If you don’t have to take care of little kids I’m sure you can find a minyan that has room for women. If there aren’t any you can pray with a lot of kavanah at home!September 15, 2009 4:40 am at 4:40 am #659060
sure there u are. u can always pray at home, if u really mean it,, you dont have to go to shul..to show off your sheitel and new clothes, think the importance of the day is to pray , have kavanah, and make teshuvah.. it is a beautiful feeling to go to shul no doubt about it. but lets not forget what is important….shanah tovah. may we all be inscribed in the book of life..September 16, 2009 2:52 am at 2:52 am #659061
If the ladies do go to shul, PLEASE either hire a babysitter to stay home with your kids, or avail yourselves of the shul sitter service, if any. My shul provides free babysitting, but many thoughtless people come into the ezras noshim with their children (who do NOT have a paid for seat), and proceed to disturb the kavana of everyone around them. I don’t like this on a regular Shabbos or yom tov, but on the Yomim Noraim, it not only takes me out of the frame of mind that I should be davening in, but creates a neagtive feeling in me towards the inconsiderate person who is doing this, especially when the rule is, no young children are allowed in the main shul during the Y”N.September 17, 2009 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #659062
My wife hopes to daven at the Kosel (in the living room), if the kids let her.
I once heard (I think from R’Mattisyahu Salomon Shlita) that the concept of Dirshu Hashem Bimitzo during the aseres ymiay tshuva applies to the teffilas yachid because a tzibbur always has its tefillos heard. If I am repeating this correctly (and understanding him correctly) there is no special inyan to be in shul. Along similar lines he explained that when the gemara gives a moshol of 2 people at the gallows where both daven for a yeshua and only one is saved, and the gemara says it is because one was “mischaven” it doesnt mean literally one had kavvanah and one not, rather, one truly had in mind that the ribbono shel olam could answer the tefilla while the other did not. He told over the story he made famous of the average bachur in Gateshead who zman after zman, always managed to get the best chavrusah. Noone could understand why, until a member of the hanhala once overheard him tell his mother on the phone “you can stop davening Ma, I got the chavrusah I wanted”. If you believe (and have this in mind by davening) the ribbono shel olam can make it happen, no matter what conventional wisdom says, this is what the gemara refers to as tefilla that was mischaven.
With this in mind, whether men do, or do not daven locally, it is how you daven, not where you daven that counts (of course, where you daven can influence how you daven sometimes).September 17, 2009 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #659063
Thanx for that jphone! Now I am even happier after hearing that because I probably won’t pray in shul on rosh hashana so your words came just in time!September 18, 2009 2:46 am at 2:46 am #659064
mazca, that is rather condescending.
I personally find davening at shul usually more uplifting and thus I have better kavanah.
But I don’t go to shul often anymore because I have kids who make noise. And I agree with oomis regarding kids in shul so…
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