One more Simcha peeve

In a previous blog post, I mentioned four simcha peeves. Unfortunately, I was reminded of another one recently: the intrepid minyan seekers (sic). Consider the two possible scenarios:

  1. The Ba’alei Simcha remembered to insert a specific time in the seder hasimcha specifically devoted to the davening of Ma’ariv.
  2. The Ba’alei Simcha either forgot or had not intended to insert a specific time slot for davening.

In both case 1 and case 2, the Mentshlich thing to do is to quietly approach the Ba’alei Simcha (or you could even come to the Band Leader) and ask if there is a preferred time for davening Ma’ariv. If there is a time, the case is closed, that’s when you daven. Ask whether an announcement will be made, of course. What do you do if you are one of the people who leave Simchas early because you have a difficult Tosfos that you just have to rush home for, or perhaps you have a sick child at home etc? I suggest that you do not disturb the Simcha. That means, do not make a minyan if it means that you will not be in the hall while someone is saying a Dvar Torah or giving a Hakoras HaTov speech. Sacrifice your own dinner. Eat it quickly. See if you can find another nine people who have also finished eating. Explain that you have to leave early, as above, and see if they will join you in the foyer while the rest of the guests continue eating their Dinner (or Dessert). Do not do this during a dance bracket. Why should the dance floor suddenly become barren and decrease the Simchas Choson V’Kallo because you preferred to choose your own time for davening?

If the B’aal Simcha forgot, try and minimise their already frazzled state of mind, and suggest a neutral time, at your expense, and your cheshbon, during eating time (when you are normally saying Mishnayos Baal Peh). Don’t choose speeches or dancing! I know this seems obvious, but I’m so frustrated seeing the arguably selfish and insensitive herding of the “cattle” davka during a speech or dance bracket.

At one Simcha, I was so embarrassed, I wanted to hide under a rock. One fellow organised a minyan, during a father’s speech of Hakoras HaTov. Not only were tables empty, but you could hear the bellowing of the “Borchu es Hashem HaMevoroch” reverberating inside the hall during the comparative silence of the speech. In my mind, יצא שכרו בהפסדו, and it was bordering on a חילול ה.

In summary, if you see this type of thing happening, approach the organiser of the minyan and ask if they have considered proper manners in executing their minyan for davening.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

7 thoughts on “One more Simcha peeve”

    1. Ha Ha. That was a good one. Loved his response. That can happen. I’m sure it’s happened to most of us, but it’s mostly not pre-meditated. I remember davening mincha one evening, and a fellow’s phone went off during Shmoneh Esreh. The scene went from the sublime to the ridiculous. He refused to react to the phone or turn it off because “he was in the middle of shmoneh esreh, no less”. Eventually, the “Nu’s” from the rest of us got louder and he pulled it out of his pocket.


  1. fully with you on this one – amazing and yet at same time disturbing how some people’s observances appear to take preference over all else happening around them

    I know its not quite the same, and doesnt have the potential to offend anyone as in your example, but I wanted to share the following;

    Reb Zalman Sero obm used to complain to certain people who brought their tehillim into the Shabbos Mevorchim farbrengen (may also have been at other Shabbosim when some would bring in Rambam)

    Reb Z was concerned to point out that the person appears to be showing off his observances, and cant really do justice to either activity when attempting to combine them..similarly people who would sit with tallis on – Reb Z would remind them that we wouldnt be having a minyan during the farbrengen..


      1. PS The Nokia ringtone happened in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Presov Slovakia, luckily not during Shmona Esrah.

        Lukáš Kmiť plays the viola.


  2. A pet peeve of mine is the mourner who leads the minyan but comes late or JUST in time.
    I have NEVER yet seen a mourner who has led the minyan for 11 months be diligent enough to purchase a packet of matches so he can light the candles.Day in & day out is “has anyone got a match”?
    It begs the question “how much is this done out of a sense of duty than a sense of really wanting to entreat Hashems’ mercy”


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