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August 30, 2009 – 10:56 am2 Comments

Letters to the Editor

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Prayers at simchas need not be clandestine

It always disturbs me how Maariv is conducted at Orthodox – both Modern
Orthodox and Chareidi – simchas in Melbourne.

The way it tends to be done makes it like a furtive, clandestine activity.

Rather than doing it properly as a formal part of the proceedings
announcing it as such, and stopping the band playing for the10 minutes
or so that it would take, what is done instead is that someone decides
that they want to daven Maariv, then furtively goes around recruiting
men for this clandestine assignment. The group then sneaks out, as if on
a special secret-men’s-business mission, finds an out-of-the-way spot,
sometimes in front of a wall of mirrors, and attempts to concentrate on
reciting prayers  – despite being in an environment where the continuing
loud music  extends out of the hall into the adjoining areas and
corridors at often only a minimally-abated  volume (though admittedly,
this is more an issue with some bands than others).

Many people who would have liked to join the group to daven with a
minyan but didn’t realise that it was happening miss out, whilst others
feel pressured to join the group and go through the motions of davening
in an environment where it is impossible to concentrate.

At a Barmitzvah, doing it as a formal part of the proceedings would also
allow the Barmitzvah boy to take part – perhaps even lead the service.

Stuart

Friday August 29

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