You Have Reached the Voice Mail of Shloimie Sprintzer

Hello, you have reached the voice mail of Shloimie Sprintzer. I am currently davening. Please choose from one of the following options.

To leave a message, press 1.

To leave a message for me to call you back during kriyas haTorah, press 2.

To text-message me, so I can respond during Shmoneh Esrei, press 3.

To page me, so that I can ignore your call and allow the phone to ring, increasing in volume, and thereby disturb everyone else’s Shmoneh Esrei, press 4.

To page me, so that I can answer during Shmoneh Esrei and make inarticulate grunting noises, press 5.

If you have video — to page me, so that I can communicate through sign language or written notes during Shmoneh Esrei, press 6.

If you are davening yourself and wish to respond to Kaddish or Kedusha, press 7.

To choose from ring options that can be played during Hallel, press 8.

If you would like to hear a pre-recorded p’sak permitting tefillah b’tzibbur via cell phone from Rabbi Yisroel Meir Shmeril Tupenovsky (RIMSHOT), press 9.

To make a Kiddush HaShem, hang up, turn off your phone, and wait until you finish davening to worry about your calls.

Trying to Pray

As everyone knows by now, Israel is in serious trouble right now. Three soldiers are being held hostage and many have been killed. Many civilians have been killed and injured in the constant rocket attacks. Over one million Israelis in the north are sleeping in bomb shelters.

There’s nothing like watching the disaster unfold to make me realize my own helplessness. In an instinctive reaction, despite my many years living on my own and the fact that I am now married and expecting a child of my own, I spent much of the day trying to call my mother. I also did laundry—constant, obsessive washing of anything in the house that might have once touched dirt. But the one, most important thing that I should be doing, I just can’t. I can’t seem to pray.
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Judging Fast Daveners Favorably

By Todd Greenwald

I would like to share this D-Day story.

Growing up my family davened at an orthodox shul, although we were more traditional. Every Motzae Yom Kippur, the shul asked the same person to daven maariv. Why? Because he was fast!! Back then it was great. After I became frum it bothered me greatly. We should be davening that first maariv after Yom Kippur slowly with much concentration. One Yom Kippur I remarked to my father how it bothered me. He related the following story about this gentleman:

“It was D-Day and this gentleman was off the boat and in the water approaching the beach. People from his platoon were being killed all around him. As he was moving to shore he prayed to Hashem and said, G-d if you get me out of here alive, I will go to shul every day for the rest of my life. My father told me that the man was true to his word and attends shul everyday.”
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New Google Mashup Enables Davening On the Web

Well if you’re looking to catch a Minyan on the Web, you’re out of luck. But the Shulchan Aruch (90:9) does say “However, if one is faced by compelling circumstances and cannot come to the Synogogue, he should see that the time when he prays coincides the the time when the congregation prays”. I wonder if there would be any halachic benefit to having a Shul webcam so you can daven at the exact same pace as the minyan and on Mondays and Thursday you can view and hear the reading of the Torah?

When you need to catch a minyan and you’re away from your normal Makon Kavuah, there’s a new site that mashes up Google Maps with your local minyan schedule called Minyan Maps. It’s pretty cool and useful and a friend of mine in Kew Gardens Hills heads the project, so give it a look.
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Connecting to Others Through Davening

Growing up in a Reform Jewish congregation, I grew up with religious services conducted overwhelmingly in English, with great musical accompaniment. They lasted about an hour, included an organ and cantor with a wonderful voice, and some responsive readings, again mainly in English. On High Holidays, our synagogue employed a professional choir, featured a violin solo and also highlighted several other impressive performances. Going to services was like going to a concert, and only done on occasions.
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Davening in English or Hebrew

As a BT I find davening hard, I grew up in a very spiritual house where my mother always said G-d is with you always and you can talk to him in anyway you choose the same way you’d speak to one of your sisters or friends and that is exactly the kind of relationship I had (have?) with G-d. At times we’d be the best of friends speaking 5 times a day and at others there would be some unspoken distance between us and weeks might pass without so much as a word (on my end of course).
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A Fresh Look at Davening

In the beginning, davening was all about singing and dancing and connecting to G-d. They were amazing times…..We would go to the old ivy covered Hillel House at G.W.U. (George Washington University in D.C) on Friday night, first daven the “service” and then make a communal Shabbat dinner (or maybe it was the other way around back then). There must have been 15 or 20 of us, blue jeans and long hair, loving the world, and in love with being Jewish, eyes shining and hearts wide open, and we danced and sang underneath the huge banner across one wall of the room that read, “Transcend!” We felt so in touch with G-d and the universe, so connected and united with the Jewish people all over the world, and all through history, that the words of the Shma burned deep into our souls, and I knew that I had found my place.
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Davening in Shul or Yeshiva

For the past several years I have been davening Shabbos mornings in one of the local yeshivos. It is comfortable, quiet and my chavrusa sits across from me. Immediately after davening, we learn and I don’t have to involve myself with the inevitable politics that occurs in some shuls. My family and I are also members of a well-known and prestigious shul. The Rav is an extraordinarily respected talmid chachom and posek. The people are chashuv and menschlich. It’s also quiet and there are no disparaging conversations. However, the needs of the yeshiva are few while the needs of the shul are many. After nearly two years of the Rav saying to me with a big smile, “Come around a once in a while, we miss you,” combined with my boys’ (ten and seven) desire to attend Shabbos groups and my wife’s thirst to develop and bond with others, I relented. Considering that I am not easily persuaded about most things, my wife was shocked at how efficiently and effortlessly I began davening at our shul. Of course when the Rav finally looked at me straight in my eyes and ominously stated, “You’re making a very big mistake, ” I had little choice.
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