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:
- The Ba’alei Simcha remembered to insert a specific time in the seder hasimcha specifically devoted to the davening of Ma’ariv.
- 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.