At a time when many are returning to shuls throughout the region, the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisrael of America released a kol korei in which they called for increasing the respect for places of Torah and tefillah.
Noting that Klal Yisrael has suffered both from the loss of many Jews to the pandemic as well as being removed from our batei kneisios and batei medrashos, they stated that it is incumbent upon us to be extra vigilant in our conduct while in Hashem’s presence.
Regarding this conduct, they asked:
- To envision for ourselves when we arrive to shul that we are standing in the dwelling of Hashem.
- Although we have become habituated to praying alone, that we should now exceedingly try, if permitted to do so, to pray with a minyan and in shul, which has many benefits.
- To pray as if we were standing in front of a king, and not to hurry.
- Shuls should, when permitted to do so and in a permitted manner, add more shiurim and learning with a chavrusah, which were diminished during the pandemic.
- Not to engage in idle chatter in shul; not to talk at all and to pay attention during chazaras hashatz and keri’as haTorah; and not to leave shul until the prayer is over.
- Not to bring publications with non-Torah content into shul.
- To turn off the ringers of cell phones, and not to take cell phones out of one’s pocket, in shul.
The message ended with fervent wishes that we merit that Hashem rest His Divine Presence upon us, that He accept our prayers with mercy, that catastrophe is not heard in our environs, that good and benevolence accompany us in our lives, and that He redeem us permanently, quickly.