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Keeping the Rabbi’s Sermon Between Shacharis and Mussaf

Thursday May 29, 2014 6:12 PM - 17 Comments

rav-moshe-meir-weissBy Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss

As we take leave of the Sefirah period, and its stern message concerning kovod haTorah by recalling the horrific deaths of the 24,000 disciples of Rebbi Akiva who didn’t honor each other’s Torah prowess, we should take some time to ponder if we are okay ourselves in the critical area of kovod haTorah, being careful with the honor of Torah and those who are dedicated to it.  This is especially important in these modern times which our Gedolim have labeled Ikvasa D’meshicah, the era before the coming of Moshiach. The Gemora teaches us that during this period chutzpa yasga, brazenness, will abound.  As an example, I recently asked an optometrist if he found a difference in the behavior of his patients during the last ten years.  He told me that, in general ,the young men are much more arrogant.  My own observation is that this is endemic of society in general.  We must know that this behavioral shift poses a great challenge to our responsibilities, vis-à-vis, kovod haTorah.

Let me give you an example.  Recently, there has evolved a new shul phenomenon   Congregants are requesting, and even demanding, that their Rabbi say the Shabbos drosha after davening, instead of between shacharis and musaf. Their argument is, “Why should we be a captive audience?  It’s a free society and we are free men.  Why should we be subjected to be forced to listen?  Those who want to listen, will be happy to stay after davening, while those who want to go home to their families, who want to learn their own stuff, or who don’t particularly care for the Rav’s style or content, won’t have to suffer on the day of rest.  After all,” they argue, “We work hard all week.  Why should we suffer from such weekly coercion?”

What a terrible development!  Firstly, we always must ask ourselves, “What’s fueling such a movement?”  In this case, I suggest, it is certainly the sitra achra, the yeitzar hora, the evil inclination.  Recently, I spoke in a shul that had this custom that the Rabbi speaks after davening.  When I got up to speak, 15 young men got up, some with their children, and exited the room.  How sad and alarming!  What a wholesale display of lack of kovod haTorah - and I was a guest lecturer!  Imagine how they behave with their own Rabbi with whom they are more familiar.  What arrogance!  What brazen behavior!  Think also of the real korbonos, their children, who at a very young age are already being whisked away from hearing the experienced advice, values, lessons, morals, and ethics of their Rabbi.  Even worse, at a young age they are being inculcated to think that it is acceptable behavior to walk out when a Rabbi gets up to talk.  This doesn’t bode well for their future respect for authority.  The parents are planting the seeds for their own ruination - for the ultimate authority in a child’s life is parental authority, and when parents erode authority, in general, the effect boomerangs against themselves in the future.

When one has to be admitted to the hospital, lo aleinu, he or she has to put on a hospital gown.  This is usually a rather brief garment, which leaves the patient uncomfortable.  Why aren’t people allowed to wear their own house coats and pajamas?  One of the reasons is because subconsciously it gets the patient to accept the authority of the doctors and the nurses.  In a similar vein, the drosha between shacharis and musaf is deliberately a captive situation:  To convey the feeling of authority that a baal habayis should have towards his Rabbi.  How sad that the youth of today want to throw off this centuries long tradition!

This new trend does not just stem from youthful insolence; rather it is also caused by the lack of patience and a universal restlessness due to the newly ingrained need for immediacy and terseness created by texting and other technologies.  Our youth suffer from a lack of sitzfleish. They can’t sit in one place for too long.  But, we need to battle this for if we don’t, they won’t have the patience to sit with their wives, play with their children, or even to sit for long over a gemora or chumash.

So don’t cave into this trend!  We should all want our youth to hear the drosha, to hear about shalom bais, and kibud av v’eim, to be warned against gambling, and computer pornography, to be lectured about Kiddush Hashem and not bearing grudges, to be reminded about the death of lashon hara, the sin of lying and the scourge of cheating in business and not paying up loans.  Do you want them to learn the importance of having a Rabbi and respecting him?  That lesson is one that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.  In the merit of kovod haTorah, may Hashem bless us with good health, long life and everything wonderful.

Yocheved Weiss transcribed this article and Sheldon Zeitlin is the editor for Rabbi Weiss’ articles.

To receive a weekly cassette tape or CD directly from Rabbi Weiss, please send a check to Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, P.O. Box 140726, Staten Island, NY 10314 or contact him at RMMWSI@aol.com.  Visit his website at www.RabbiMosheMeirWeiss.com.

Order Rabbi Weiss’s sefer, Power Bentching, by calling him at 718-916-3100.

Attend Rabbi Weiss’s weekly shiur at the Landau Shul, Avenue L and East 9th in Flatbush, Tuesday nights at 9:30 p.m.

Rabbi Weiss’s Daf Yomi and Mishnah Yomis shiurim can be heard LIVE on Kol Haloshon at (718) 906-6400.  Write to KolHaloshon@gmail.com for details.

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17 Responses to “Keeping the Rabbi’s Sermon Between Shacharis and Mussaf”

1. Comment from Geavriel
Time May 29, 2014 at 6:35 PM

great article !!! Thank you!

2. Comment from mayim
Time May 29, 2014 at 7:17 PM

In my shul the rov speaks before laining and after davening and we can’t get enough

3. Comment from chaim36
Time May 29, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Dear Rabbi Weiss :A drosho that goes on for 25-30 shabbos morning is a burden. Experience rabonim speak for about 8 min. and STOP !.Give scholars a watch and stop @ 8 min. People will stay and Listen.

4. Comment from abc
Time May 29, 2014 at 11:40 PM

IF you dont like tahat the rabbi speaks to long or dont like the rabbis style speech then find adiffrent shul to daven in.some shuls there is no rabbis speech.It is a slap in the face to a rabbi to walk out when he gets up to speak.

5. Comment from Charlie Hall
Time May 30, 2014 at 12:01 AM

Rabbi Willig in Riverdale gives his sermon immediately after davening. Nobody leaves.

6. Comment from jewish 1st
Time May 30, 2014 at 4:44 AM

Thank you Rabbi Weiss
i am glad you are willing to express your Torah True ideas with us in such a forum

and it is sad that to see how far on the other side people are especially those with small children who may not ever get, hear, understand such ideals otherwise

NOTE TO THE MANAGEMENT: Rabbi Weiss should have a special column here

YES Rabbi Weiss has a special place in my heart HE IS ONE OF A SMALL FEW WHO CAN TOUCH IT

BTW you can find many more of his Siurim here
http://www.torahanytime.com/speakers-list/rabbi-moshe-meir-weiss/

7. Comment from Snag
Time May 30, 2014 at 4:54 AM

Sermons are chukkas hagoy.

8. Comment from LBJ
Time May 30, 2014 at 6:00 AM

I dont know if it is but if Rabbi willig’s draha is a feel good drasha like many modern orthodox sermons, that make even the lowest of the low feel good about their avodas hashem then that is why everybody stays, because they enjoy the drasha, but a real rabbi is there to give mussar and make you extend in your avodas hashem and thats where the inclination is to leave and therefore purposely is juxtaposed in the middle of davening so that people hear the needed mussar that every yid needs to hear, even gedolei talmidei chachamim go to hear mussar.

9. Comment from Gb
Time May 30, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Sometimes one must leave so that his young kids do not disturb the rabbis dvar Torah. I think that accounts for at least 75 percent of the people who leave in my shul

10. Comment from Sol
Time May 30, 2014 at 10:12 AM

In my Shul the Rov speaks very well, full of energy and beautiful Dvar Shmateseh. He speaks after Mussaf and everyone stays to listen.

11. Comment from yossie
Time May 30, 2014 at 10:38 AM

as usual rabi Weiss is on the money !
hes not scared to address “hot ” topics of the the day that others dance around
hes a great speaker and whoever walked out is a fool
because (though I was not there ) missed a great speech im sure

12. Comment from oy vey!
Time May 30, 2014 at 10:40 AM

A weekly Drasha is so important and some Mussar with Hadracha is fantastic to hear as it makes us better people.

My question though is why is the Drasha before Mussaf? Doesn’t the Shulcha Aruch speak about no hefsek between Asrei and the Mussaf Shmone esray? A Drasha before Krias Hatorah I can understand. Perhaps an explanation as to why before Mussaf would be helpful.Either way though a Drasha is important, appreciated and usually leads to a wonderful and pleasant conversation around our Shabbos table.

13. Comment from Jo Shmo
Time May 30, 2014 at 11:25 AM

What about Kovod Hatzibur? There are halachos regulating the number of aliyos and long mishebeirachs - all due to Chazal’s insistence on not overburdening the tzibur - so it seems that 45 minute captive audience speeches every single Shabos are not exactly in the spirit of halacha. Some people have little children, some people are sick, and some prefer to actually learn something tangible. From my personal experience, the longest speeches are often not more than an oratory exercise with perhaps one sentence of Torah in it; those talmidei chachomim that have what to say - say it short and hit hard. Obviously, each individual has to be concerned with the kovod of the speaker, but so should each speaker be concerned with the kovod of the tzibur. If you have real Torah/Mussar/Chasidus to give over, then make your point. If you are just filling time with politics, sentences that don’t add meaning, and are concerned more with the style of your speech than its substance, please step down.

14. Comment from M S
Time May 30, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I agree with R’ Weiss in principle that our generation has too much chutzpa and not enough kavod hatorah, but isn’t it preferable halachicaly to say a drasha later so as not to have a hefsek before chatzi kaddish?

15. Comment from mig
Time May 30, 2014 at 1:04 PM

In my shul, some of the men use the time they should be davening to socialize. Then when my rabbi gets up to speak, they walk out to shmooze. It shows a lack of disrespect towards the rav, and I feel very sorry for their children. What kind of message do they think they are sending them?

16. Comment from Normative
Time May 30, 2014 at 2:04 PM

The key to a good Rovs drosha is giving musser while at the same making people feel good about themself and want to strive to better themselves.

People walking out for the drosha is a symptom of the further lack of kovod HaTorah, kovod HaBeis Hamedrash & general lack of kovod habrios that is all too common today in society.

17. Comment from YeridosHadoros
Time May 30, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Other instances of a lack of kovod habrios that I have seen are people looking into a sefer while the rav is speaking. Other people close their eyes, and not for a lack of sleep. In one shul in our community,the young baalhabatim decided to leave the shul and form a new minyan without the founding older rabbi! Whatever happened to “hadarta pnei zaken”, respecting the elderly.This shows a lack of middos. As we approach Shavuos and Mattan Torah, may we never forget that “Derech eretz kadma la’Torah-being a mentsch comes before Torah!

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