Monday, September 21, 2009

"So, when did you finish?"

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Try as hard as you can, you still can't avoid having the conversation at least once over the High Holy Days, despite the point being childish and all. When your shul finishes Mussaf on R"H tells people a lot about you. If you finish early you obviously don't care enough about the day. You didn't daven a long enough Shmone Esrei, didn't say enough Piyutim, didn't take very long to say to say LaMnatzeyach, and so on. You probably go home, eat too much, talk too much Loshon HoRah, and maybe do a few grubbe aveiros. You may have woken before dawn and davened Netz, and you may have fasted until Kiddush after Mussaf, but it's not the same. You may have stood on your feet all day, but it's still not the real thing. In short, you didn't have the "true" RH experience, unless you came home from shul when all others were going back to Mincha. You may have had a four course kiddush after shacharis, and maybe even a nap, but you win, because you were seen with your tallis at 6pm. Somehow Rosh Hashonoh also became like Yom Kippur, where all day is spent in shul.

It used to be that when I was a kid there was Bobov. They were the only ones that stayed so late in shul on RH. Word on the street was that the Bobover Roov, Reb Shlomo z"l, said that "er ken zayn oylem," and that he'd best keep them in shul, otherwise who knows what they'll do once they get home and have some free time... I'm sure that made his people very happy, knowing what he thought of them... All other shuls finished at 2, 2:30, 3:00, Four o'clock was already "ibber di moss," way overboard. Most people had time to go home and have a normal seudas yom tov, and maybe even go to Tashlich, if you lived close enough to the water. If not you went back to shul and had plenty of time to say tehillim, maybe even the whole sefer. I don't know, maybe that was just Golus America, and in reality it was always that way in di alte heim. IIRC that's the way it was in Munkacs with the Minchas Elozor at the helm, and maybe in Galicia some of the Sanzer Eyniklach also led all-day services. I doubt that was the order in Poland, even in non-Gerrer circles, since they said little Yotzer there.

"Why does it bother you, Hirshel," is the obvious question. It doesn't. In no way do I feel like I don't have the RH experience, especially since I'm a SHaTZ on the high holy days. I'm just trying to understand the thinking, especially regarding those that only recently picked up on this, meaning that it was never their custom to keep people in shul all day. Take the Belzer, for instance. The last few years have seen the development of a new, bizarre minhag in Belz-Yerushalayim, where they finish mincha - which immediately follows mussaf - after Shkiah and even after Tzeis haKochavim DeRabbeinu Tam. This was - I believe - NEVER the case in Belz, but they want it all, including outdoing all other Hoyfen, so they do it. Nobody is happy in their own skins anymore, they look to make sure that they're on par with everybody else. That would be fine in important matters like education and Tzedokoh, but why the need to do it when it comes to times of finishing davening?! G-d bless the Gerrers when it comes to this; they do their thing and could care less what anybody thinks of their schedule. It's called taking pride in what you do and have done forever. Some of the others out there could take a page from their playbook.


Anonymous said...

A guy like yourself as shliach tzibbur??
How low can they get?
I guess you have at beard at least.

Anonymous said...

Hirshel as a shaliach tzibur.
At least he didn't go to court and wasnt a Marim yad Betoras Hashem as the Halberstams, Unger, and the Tietelbaum clan

Minkatcher Aynikle said...

True we follow the ways of the Alter Heim, but Hantige Rebbes can be different.
Did the Lubavitcher Rebbe do everything EXACTLY the way it was done by the Frierdiker?

Anonymous said...

I daven in a shul where the rov is alte mir kind (he was a little kid in Shanghai) and they start at eight. We finished about 1:30 1st day and 2 the second so I win no contests but shouldn't his minhag be Vasikin?

Anonymous said...

these super duper long baaley tefila use cathetars? lol

vee lang kemen shtain un aros gain?

Anonymous said...

i heard that in Belz they finished on 2nda day at 7 pm - because the Rebbe "hot gedarft arois gein" 5 times during mussaf. he must be pretty unwell.
and rachmunes on the belzer chassidim...

Anonymous said...

I came to the proposal this year that each shul really needs at least three minyanim

1. Short service for people who are still "beginners" after all these years even if they are FFB they spend the whole day talking as they cannot relate to the experience so an abbreviated edition is dayenu.

2. Fast No-nonsense service for those who can relate but whose children and wife cannot handle non-attention that long. Say all the words and be done by 1 pm.

3. The Belzer version as described above for the few who truly connect and they should still have a minyan from the wannabees who cling to them willingly and witgh bittul.

snag said...

"I daven in a shul where the rov is alte mir kind (he was a little kid in Shanghai) and they start at eight. We finished about 1:30 1st day and 2 the second so I win no contests but shouldn't his minhag be Vasikin?"

Meheicha teisi that they davened vosikin in der alter Mir in der heim (what is your source for the belief that they davened vosikin in the old Mirrer Yeshiva in the alter heim)?

Interesting post, yaser keyach.

Sorry if I haven't been around so much lately, I have missed some posts, or arrived late to them.

Chasime teyve.

Esser Agaroth said...


Four hours, and that was long for us. It was due to bathroom breaks and targummim for the qeriyah and haftarah.

It nice and meaningful, and without the idiocy of being forced to believe that EVERY SINGLE piyut must be said or you're not yotzei.

We focus on halacha and true minhagim, not the ma'aseh of the inyan of the humrah of the minhag of the hashqafah.

No wonder why so many Jews are turned off by Torah and Judaism in general, and go off to "explore" elsewhere, either AZ in India or watered down versions of what is claimed to be Judaism.

Shanah Tovah wi'Gmar Hathimah Tovah.

Anonymous said...

When we were kids in BP it was a contest between Sighet and Bobov who finished the latest. Every year it was the same silly thing, while we were happily on the way home (not too early, at that) from the Sadove shtiebel, they were shlepping and tziying every word to be the very last shul to finish Mussaf.

Der Shygetz said...


The Admou"r meCreedmoor canceled Rosh Hashanah again this year, but he did have a sryfos hadegel in his Chussid's Williamsburgh electronics warehouse at netz on Shabbos morning.

Anonymous said...

Snag: I heard it somewhere, no real reliable source. That's why I asked.

Shkoyach tzig.

Anon with the three minyanim: And there should be a 4th for people who want a decent davening without shtick, just time enough to have kavana and a baal tfilla who can enhance it. But there won't be because they couldn't get a minyan.

Esser Agaroth said...

That's exactly the minyan we had,...quiet, no kibbutzim AT ALL, not when individuals were finished, and not during the hazarath haSha"tz. The Jews there wanted to be there, in addition to wanting to fulfill there obligations.

Unfortunately, we can only get a minyah together for one day per week for shaharith, and for shaharith and musaf for yamim tovim.

We are in Giva'th Sha'ul, Jerusalem.

Esser Agaroth said...

...exactly the minyan we had, also meaning with kewannah.