Saturday, June 04, 2005

ברכת המדינה vs. קריאת התורה?

Bracing self, taking a deep breath, preparing for all the attacks...

I go to shul pretty regularly, especially since I restarted my Shabbos morning chavrusa. Something's been bothering me a lot, and since this can be a venting ground for me, here goes:

I don't have a problem with the ברכת המדינה per se. I think it's a wonderful thing and that we should daven for ארץ ישראל and our people. What gets me frustrated is the lack of consistancy involved with it.

We usually have a תפילה for חולים during שביעי. In general, during קריאת התורה, there is always a bit of talking (only on the men's side in my shul, which I find rather fascinating...), but it usually ends at ברכו, when everyone does their quick shifting in their seats to complete the ברכה. The תפילה for חולים, however, seems to become free-for-all talking time.

During the Haftorah, however, it's different. Then, apparantly the need to talk is too great, and is so important, that many of the men actually leave the sanctuary to go and discuss their very important matters in the hallway.
Also inerestin.'

After all the laining is the ברכת המדינה et al. Suddenly everyone is back, standing, alert, quiet, and at attention. That's pretty incredible. The תפילה for חולים is not that important, the Haftorah is not that important, but suddenly this new תפילה, which has been introduced fairly recently and is fairly controversial, is more important even than the תורה and the words of the נביאים?

Again, I have nothing against the actual תפילה. It's just the hypocracy that goes along with it that frustrates me.



defen said...

PC-ness at its best.

[Oh, did I say that? I meant worst.]

defen said...

BTW - I'm not referring to you!

leati said...

This is just a guess, but is it maybe because it's the last one of all three? Their lack of ability to hold the talking until after davening is completely distastful, but are you sure it's because of what's being said and not just general rude behavior?

I can't stand talking in shul either, but I have a hard time believing they're doing it bdavka "against" the cholim.

Maybe because it's the final part before things move on so they figure now's a good time to wrap things up and get back to their seats.

TRW said...

Defen-Grr...but you're right.

Leati-I'm not saying it's specifically against the cholim, I'm just pointing different times that poeple choose when to pay attention and when not to. If it wasn't for the clear distinction between the two t'filos then I wouldn't have said anything.

Karl said...

Generally people don't think. All the "regular" stuff becomes standard and then disregarded, while anything new is suddenly more important.
Like in one place I davened over Yom Tov once (sort of youth minyan), people talking all the way through, wondering round outside, more of a social than anything else, but when it came to Birchas Kohanim, they all pile in and are silent like its time for Tkiyas Shofar or somethin. - Um, HELLO, what happened to Kriyas HaTorah, or kedusha or even turning up on time.
Another reason is that its also (often) more of a political stand rather than actually thinking about what is more important.
Not that it should make a difference to your rant but out of interest, what "version" of the "ברכה" is said?

TRW said...

We did the (I think) standard version in the Artscroll siddur. It's really three tefilos-Tefila for gov't, Tefila for Eretz Yisroel, and Tefila for the chayalim.

Litvshe said...

Baruch Hashem the congregants feel a connection to the plight of Klal Yisrael as a Klal. It's very difficult to feel the pain of each individual Jew, which is why the Mishaberach for Cholim isn't as important to some people. I don't know what the deal with the Haftorah is. But I think it's a great thing that when people think, even with saying Amen, they can affect the destiny of the nation for the better, that's a wonderful thing.

The Rabbi's Kid said...

The cholim is too long if the gabba says each name out loud, as opposed to each person saying it themselves. Tircha detsibura. Also, people consider the haftara irrelevant - it was only added when leining was assured, a bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. As for the medina, since so many yidden for some explicable reason make it a big deal not to thank the Ribono Shel Olan for our own country, or even walk out, then ppl feel the need to counteract that by showing decorum during the prayer.
Just trying to be dan lekaf zechus. Ultimately you are right though.