Needed: Fearless Individuals

The sound is all too familiar. He recoils with fear and yet he once again does or says nothing about it. He is among the least influential men in the congregation and fears retribution were he to as much as say a word or make a peep. Internally, he is enraged by the blatant desecration of Hashem’s Name in public, yet his soft-spoken personality keeps him from doing that which the Shulchan Aruch demands of him.

The one time a Jew may reprimand a fellow Jew in public in a loud voice is when he is faced with a flagrant non-repentant “shmoozer” in shul who is willing to wipe the floor with anyone who dares challenge his right to hold court in middle of the most sensitive parts of the prayers. “Woe unto me! I fear a mortal way more than G-d Himself. What can I do?”

These are the experiences of countless Jews who seek nothing more than a safe place to daven, otherwise known as a shul. Yet, even at this very sacred spot, considered a place of refuge from the madness of the outside world, there is no protection from this careless behavior.

What options does this painful reality leave us with? One very simple solution would be to appoint those with no real fear of their contemporaries and the desire to protect the rest of the congregation. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, taught us that speaking during davening is a harbinger of scary developments and only a foolish Rabbi would stand by idly as his congregants are placed in mortal danger by those suffering from a debilitating case of levity.

Let us unite as one in a movement that will bring the talking in shul to a standstill. Hashem will truly be proud of us as He observes our brave ones defend His honor in public.

Ish Yemini