Readers’ Matzav: Storm the Heavens…With Silence


shul-daveningDear Brother,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Yankel and I’ve been sitting in the row right behind you in shul for close to 16 years.

With the help of Hakadosh Baruch Hu, I have a beautiful family and a successful business.

I have everything I want and need.

Normally I would tell you this in person when I’d see you in shul during davening, or maybe when there is even more time to schmooze, during chazaras hashatz or krias haTorah.

However, recently that changed.

The past few months we’ve seen tragedy as never before. An entire family wiped out and recurring terrorist attacks. The ugly specter of anti-Semitism rising worldwide as never before. Patients lying in the hospital suffering from debilitating illnesses. The loss of so many close friends due to illness and fatal car accidents. The number of young almanos and yesomim is growing by the day. The number of families who can no longer stay afloat in these financially turbulent times is mind-boggling. There are so many similar situations that each one of us knows personally.

The strength in Klal Yisroel lies in the love and responsibility each member feels for the others. With this in mind, I am beseeching you – no, begging you – to join me in a unique project to help counter these horrible tragedies that our nation is facing.

We are just beginning a new year, one which we will pray will be filled with yeshuos and good health for all of us. One way to invoke Hashem’s mercy is to follow the advice of the Tosafos Yom Tov: to focus on silence during davening as a way to bring Hashem’s brachos upon us.

I am mekabel upon myself (bli neder) to refrain from talking during davening, with the sincere prayer that this kabbalah will bring greater brachos into my life and the lives of those who are an integral part of my life: all of you.

Please, please join me with whatever kabbalah you can make – for all the tefillos, just one, or even during chazaras haShatz or krias haTorah. It will lend an aura of greater kedushah to our shuls and batei medrash. It would be a tremendous zechus for a yeshuah for all those in need if you would agree to join me in this powerful source of brachah.

This Yamim Noraim, don’t look down during davening. Look up. Look around you and see who needs your tefillos for health, for livelihood or for peace. Daven for them, and b’ezras Hashem all of our tefillos will be answered l’tovah.

This Yamim Nora’im, let us storm the Heavens … with our silence.

אבינו מלכנו סתום פיות משטיננו ומקטריגנו.

I love you all and wish you and your loved ones a k’sivah v’chasimah tovah.


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  1. Well said!, We should learn from the Sephardim who refrain from talking in shul. I honestly believe that there is a link between these terrible tradgedies and talking in shul.

  2. I’m in…

    No talking during shul for me, b”n.

    Is there a short form of a letter like the one above to post on the door’s of shuls? Some kind of short but powerful message from a Gadol?

  3. Have you all gone mad? I am not condoning talking during tfilla. If we want HKB”H to listen to our tfillot, then they must be meaningful. Yet there is a great disconnect between talking during tfilla and the tzarot of klal yisrael.
    I’d first assess our Bein Adam LeChaveyro. I’d assess our Bein Adam Lemishpachto. I’d assess our relationship to Clal Yisrael, especially those not in our circle. I’d assess our relationship to the rest of society. How do our non Jewish neighbors see us? These are more important and direct barometers of how well we are doing Klappay Shmayoh

  4. REPLY TO # 6: First off it is not far off to say that talking during davening is a direct cause for the tragedies that befall us! The gedolim of the time said that the tzarus of ?? ??? came about because people talked during shul! 2- Why is it that you have to go all out against those vying for a good cause with strong wording as “have you all lost your minds”? People are trying to do a good thing, why ruin the inspiration? Ok, you don’t agree with their idea, but why make such a point of it? Doing such a thing only lessens the inspiration that was. On this it’s stated ?? ??? ???? ??? ??????!

  5. #6 – Nice cop-out

    ‘I’ could talk in shul if ‘I’ want to.
    ‘YOU’ deal with other issues.
    #6 & #8 will talk away – because the haftorah says…
    “Wake up from your slumber and go pray to your God”
    Even the goishe sailor knew better than you. You can’t daven if you talk. Never mind not letting others daven with kavanah.

  6. #6
    The cardiologist said I needed a pacemaker, I had irregular heartbeats.
    What an idiot. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
    I need to have 2 teeth filled. Also I have to have a bandage replaced on the booboo on my hand.
    Also a new pair of shoes will help with my equilibrium.

    To be a proud Jew then you need to perform actions that are worthy of pride . Not Talking in shule helps your tfillah. A worthy cause yes. Talking clearly does not help and will lead to G-D not listening to your tfillot and bakashot. I don’t know which Gedolim you are talking about, however, I do know about TANACH.
    All of the Neviim talk about how despised peoples Korbanot were to HKB”H, while these same people bringing korbanot (silently, I assume), treated their fellow man with utter revulsion.
    If I’m ruining your inspiration, GOOD!!!. You need to be inspired to do more important things. I am not a LETZ. I am your true source of inspiration. Stop settling. G-D wants DEEDS. Tfillot are valueable but at the end of the day they are words. These words need to be converted to acts of Conscience. You do not need to be a Gadol to understand this. You just need to be an “ADAM” with a Tzelem Elokim.
    To paraphrase Rav Amital, Stop trying to fill your own heart. Start opening your heart to others. Only then will your quiet tfillot be meaningful.

  8. The situation in Eretz Yisroel & in the Diaspora is very bad from Terrorists to the entire Economy going down etc… If anyone should ask why all these Tzaros are Happening to Klal Yisroel he only needs to look at what the Rambam says. Saying that as long as we remain ignorant of the present troubles that we have & what the reasons are that they are happening. The situation can only get worse until Mashiach comes. With the society we are living in today we (sadly) CONSTANTLY need reminders (wake-up calls) from HASHEM for us to do T’shuva & return to HASHEM so all this Tzaros can end & Mashiach comes.
    NOW IS THE TIME TO DO TESHUVA & EVERY yid start caring for one another
    gmar Chasima tova to everyone

  9. To Mr Maier,

    If you go back to the Haftorah, the davening did not quiet the waters. It was the deed of throwing Yonah overboard that accomplished what ws needed. Remember this storm did not occur bcause people spoke in davening. The people of Nineveh were evil by their actions. Yonah was to respond by action. Unfortunatly he had to spend 3 days in the belly of a fish to see the error of his ways.

  10. Please do not consider my previous post as making light of talking b’shas tefilah. The point for which I congratulated #6 was that it is folly to attribute all the peranios of Klal Yisroel to talking in shul. In the grand scheme of things there are many bigger aveiros that need tikkun.

  11. 14, and 15: to continue the analogy, we should throw the talkers “off the ship”. And even if the talking problem is not the end all of teshuva, the navi say that Hashem saw the committment of the people of Nineve, and stayed the judgement. We do not know that they did teshuva sheleima, just that their maasim reflected a change. A person mekabel to mend their shul habits may improve in other ways as a result, and earn spiritual kinyonim in the processl

  12. 14 and 15 apparently missed my reference. The haftorah for Yom Kippur Shacharis is not Maftir Yohah. The Haftorah for Shacharis is Yeshayahu 57 14 to 58 14 in which Navi Yeshayahu tells Klal Yisroel that G-d says fasting, capores and tefilla on Yom Kippur don’t mean anything without social justice (bein adam l’chaveiro)

  13. I have a powerful article on the importance of not talking in shul.Those wishing to receive it should please email me name and FAX NUMBER