Rav Wosner: Prevent Cancer – Stop Talking During Davening

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wosnerThere is what turns out to be an interesting machlokes among two senior poskim as to what is the cause for our tefillos not making it up to heaven. Harav Moshe Sternbuch, Rosh Av Bais Din of the Eidah Hachareidis of Yerushalayim, was recently quoted as having said that not being careful enough in issues of shaatnez is the issue disturbing the ascent our tefillos.

This week, Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, author of Shevet Halevi and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chachmei Lublin, said something that seems to indicate that he disagrees. Rav Wosner said that our talking during davening, and our being busy with other things not related to tefillah, along with ringing cellphones, is what causes our tefillos not to make it up to Shomayim.

He added that if we would stop talking during davening, nobody would get cancer anymore.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/Rafi G.-Life in Israel}

14 COMMENTS

  1. We are not to guess why this or that tragedy happens. If we were all more careful with mitzva observance, not chumra chapping, it would surely please the Ribbono shel Olam.

    I suggest that our tefillos are certainly reaching shomayim. That they are not being answered the way we would like is another story.

  2. IMHO it is the lack of tzniyus on the streets, the toeiva parades/laws, sinas chinam, lashon hara etc – certainly talking during davening is obviously going to stand in the way of your tefilloth – would you listen to someone who was talking to you while texting? and shatnez is obviously a deep concept that prevents kedusha – – do we have to work on ourselves fellow yidden!!!!! Try a little bit every day – and picture people getting better! or never getting sick at all – because the sickness is horrific

  3. if we would stop talking during davening, nobody would get cancer anymore

    Do you realise what is inflicted with such a comment? I got cancer because that is what HaShem had decided should be. I don’t talk in shul.

  4. How many of us recite with our lips three times a day in Shemoneh Esrai:

    ~ redeem us speedily for your Name’s sake; and
    ~ raise the banner to gather our exiles

    while our actual thoughts are wandering off to such vital issues as how to improve our lives in the goldena medina, committed to increasing our stake in golus — well, is it any wonder that the Ribbono Shel Olam doesn’t take us very seriously. To rephrase a famous adage, we “fake the talk” about wanting the geulah…but alas we don’t “walk the walk.”

  5. Assuming the gedolim are being accurately quoted, I can only assume each is talking about the general matzav, not individuals. Because otherwise on a simplistic level, once this machlokes is resolved, we need to be nizhar not to talk in shul, but can still be careless with shatnez, or vice versa?

    So as I said
    A) were they quoted accurately?
    B) I refuse to assume anything other than that they are referring to a general gezeira.

  6. nobody said you got cancer because you did not talk in shul – but when hashem sends sickness we have to look to improve – maybe you were chosen because you are such a tzaddik that you made up for 1000 people getting cancer – we don’t know the cheshbonos but we do know that if we don’t do the ratzon haborei he sends us punishment until we do – that is basic krias shma!!!!

  7. response to areyoucrazy:
    I too have cancer and don’t talk in shul, but there was a time that I did. Obviously it’s like someone who smoked and stopped. The damage remains unless a thorough teshuva is done.

    In the meantime I wouldn’t add to the problem by demeaning what R. Vosner said.

    The Zohar says that when one wears Shatnez his tefilos do not ascend to Shomayim, this is what R. Shternbuch is addressing. Others have a problem of speaking in shul, perhaps not stopping others who are speaking and this is what R. Vosner is referring to. No conflict.

    It would be wonderful if we would grab the opportunity presented by R. Vosner. If we can make a dent in the talking problem maybe we can help the sick people in our communities. If someone speaks to you at the wrong time, touch your finger to your lips and don’t respond to what he says. He knows it is wrong, what he doesn’t realize is how much he is hurting himself and his friends.

  8. is there any question that talking during davening has terrible repurcussions? first of all we are told that this specifically was the cause for numerous tragedies to the klal. second based on mida keneged mida does it make sense that our teffilos will have the desired effect if we do not show proper respect for tefilla.

  9. I’m sorry, I’m not impressed. This is the easy way out of dealing with serious issues and afflications and preys on peoples emunah.

    In both cases it is a catch-22 for the human being.
    Let’s be honest, real honest. How realistic is it to believe that from the time you are 13 till you 80 years, you will NEVER EVER speak during a davening session, even for a second. Therefore, even if you try your absolute hardest and only talk once as a teenager, you only have your actions to blame for getting cancer at 78.

    Why not also be real as well and mention, don’t smoke (re: lung and throat cancer) : alchol abuse (re: liver cancer) : Excessive red meats (re: bowel cancer) : wearing appropriate clothes in the sun (re: skin cancer)…..

  10. Over the past few years there have been an unusual number of deaths of young people in my community. This fact has been noted by Rabbonim and lay people alike. I am disappointed that I haven’t heard of any Rav who has spoken publicly about the possibility of a connection between this phenomenon and the overwhelming amount of talking that goes on in our shuls. Kaddish, Kedushah, Chazaras HaShatz, Krias HaTorah… doesn’t make a difference. We have contingents of equal opportunity magpies.

    And so I’ve had a certain fantasy about buying a beautiful mahogany box with a hinged lid. Contained therein would be a gun and a small sign attached to the inside of the lid. Walking over to a group of magpies I would open the lid for them to see the gun and the sign which reads: “So, who are you trying to kill today.”

    Sigh…I just don’t have the guts.

  11. There is NO reason that starting TODAY until we are iy”h 120 years of age, we can’t close our mouths and never utter an unnecassary word during davening.

    I have been doing it for a long time now, and believe me, even though it’s hard, it CAN be done!

    TRY IT!!!

  12. WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO DISAGREE WITH RABONIM THEY ARE OUR LEADERS FOR OUR GENERATION,IT MAY BE A COMMENT FROM A RABBI YOU DONT ASK YOUR SHEILAS TO OR HAVE CONNECTION WITH HOWEVER WE CANT TELL OTHERS WHAT A RAV HAS SAID DOES NOT MAKE SENSE,THIS CAN CHAS VESHOLEM CAUSE PEOPLE TO DISRESPECT RABBONIM,WE MUST BE VERY CAREFUL HOW WE SPEAK OR WRITE-THINK TWICE BEFORE SPEAKING ONCE.

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