The Matzav Shmoooze: Davening is Not a Drive-Thru


daveningDear Readers,

Often, when I daven in shul that has multiple minyanim, I see people join a minyan that already started, even though a new minyan is starting in an adjacent room. It is almost as if they want to ‘get over’ the tefillah, and therefore join the minyan that is going to finish sooner, even though it started before they arrived.

There would seem to be something inherently wrong with such behavior. If one arrives in shul for Shacharis and the minyan is already up to borchu, the right thing to do is to go into the next minyan that is beginning.

To compound this, those who join a minyan while it is already underway often leave before the minyan finishes.

Tefillah and tefillah b’tzibbur is something that should be taken seriously. Coming after borchu and leaving after Shemonah Esrei is not what Chazal had in mind.

A Matzav Reader


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. There is a rule in physics. “Last in, First out.
    You never know a person’s situation. SOOOOO, Daven and stop watching others. That is what you are there for.
    Good Day

  2. That, and the matzah minyanim (finished in less than 18 minutes) are some of the big cherpahs of this generation, R”L.

  3. You must be proud of yourself. You are on such a high level with HKB”H. Who made you the frumometer to measure other people’s level of frumkeit. It is not your chazershe business. Halevay you monitor all aspects of your own behavior.

  4. Sometimes it happens that a person wakes up a little bit later then planned and could come a little bit late. Being that he wanted to wake up earlier he probaly has something important to get to afterwards a job train ride etc. Be dan lkaf zechus.Also maybe the person knows he could make tefilla btsibur anyways and will say borchu after davening as is the minhag in many shuls.However I agree that most people that come late leaves early but there are still some exceptions.

  5. Is being judgemental of your fellow yidden while davening, what chazal had in mind? Why don’t you concentrate more on your siddur and less on the actions of others? And if you do notice people coming late and/or leaving early why don’t you try to be dan lekaf zchus that maybe for them it is harder to get to shul for even a short time than it is for you to be there for the entire davening – and therefore they may get more schar for what they are doing than you will.

    Maybe they work crazy hours or are taking care of an elderly parent or special needs child. Maybe they take medication which makes them drowsy and unable to get up earlier. Let Hashem worry about them and you worry about your own ruchniyus.

  6. I agree 100% I have another question:
    What does one gain by Joining a Minyan Maariv during Shmone Esre and saying Shma and Brochos afterwords . When You can wait another 3-4 minutes to say Borchu And Daven MMaariv Ketikuna And Have Tfila Btzibur Lchatchlia. you are getting out of shul the same time since you are staying in shul for Shma etc.
    (you also wopnt get the Sefira count mixed up)

    Never Mind the zilzul and chilul Hashem

  7. If we someone do it once, there is room to give him the benefit-of-the-doubt, but people who do it daily surely need to do some teshuvah

  8. Yes, Tefila B’tzibur, in our fast paced, high tech generation, is unfortunately showing increasing signs of lack of respect in our Mikdashei Me’at.

    When we take advantage of multiple available minyanim, to fit our tight changing schedules, we do lose that devoted closeness of our own minyan, where our absence is noticed and would be followed up with a concerned call.

    This impersonal detachment from a regular specific minyan can allow us to ‘cut corners’ as the sense of peer pressure to maintain a high level of focus and kavod is lost.

    Arriving late, leaving early, texting, phones ringing, and shmoozing definitely seem to be reaching epidemic proportions, compared to standards from even just a decade ago. B”H for the majority of the Klal that still take davening seriously. Unfortunately, even one cell ring during quiet Shmona Esray can ruin the tefilla for all.

    Yasher Koach for speaking out, and hopefully we can all be inspired to remember it’s an opportunity to stop and speak to HKB”H 3 times a day about all the errands and responsibilities we will be running off to afterwards.

  9. you are right!

    How about in those shuls where you can catch Borchu in 1 room, Kedusha in another, Leining in a 3rd and be in and out in 10 minutes feeling like you did good.

    (I must admit though, when i’m in eretz Yisroel I jump from Minyan to Minyan and sometimes I can get in 5 or 6 Birchas Kohanim in a 30 minute span. I am wrong and will stop but it is so tempting!)

  10. You don’t know why these people come late and why they leave early so you should be dan l’kaf zchus

  11. There are two ways to make a point. (A lot more than two ways).

    1) Present the halocha, or mussar, or an insperational story etc.

    2) Take other peoples actions, which are certanly good, but can possibly use improvement, and knock them as a person.

    Option one is meant to inspire others. Option two is meant to glorify ourselves through sayin how they do a wrong I don’t. Bravo.

  12. some of us dont have the time and we cant wait around for the whole day.
    The bal tefilos dont take into account people have to be at work and some people dont have time to wait for the next minyan. So what your saying is I should daven at home instead of joining a minyan after it started??? because thats what Chazal wanted!!! I think you should worry about yourself not what everyone else is doing. Chazal would be much happier!!!!

  13. why doesnt this matzav reader concentrate on his own davening and not be busy with others
    why this constant need to point out everybody elses problems does it make you feel any better?

    do you think you are helping clall yisroel
    if you wish to help clall yisroel
    leran a blatt gemoro or say tehillim

  14. SADLY some of the reasons this happens is because, 1)people put they’re money before Hashem-forgetting that its hashem that got the person his job & livlihood-& say i need to leave to work to make a living & support my family 2)people put they’re personal needs, wants & desires before Hashem- & forget that every minute he is living is a gift from Hashem- but cant seem to give Hashem 45 minutes for Shachris out of 24 hours Hashem gives him each day. MANY OTHER REASONS ALSO

  15. Many of the people who daven in a “drive-thru” minyan are there precisely because they can do this. If you want a more spiritual minyan, daven in a more spiritual shul.

  16. Whatever the excuse is, KAf Zechus, They wouldn’t come al all etc,, there is no right in any circumstance to take out a cell or BB during davening, Would they do it in front of a judge when he is in court?, NO WAY!!!!!
    Cellphones, bb’s, texting, reading, forwarding jokes is strictly forbidden, by all means

  17. #21 if they went to the court every day 3 times a day, yes they would.
    People focus on the positive. People take out the time to go to shul. We can do anything we want, sleep in, eat work, relax etc etc, but we choose to go to shul 3 times a day, every day (usually). Are we allways perfect? Of course not, that is why we are here. Then again are YOU perfect?

  18. I used to Daven Shachris at home do to my crazy schedule. I now try to daven in Shul, but I have to leave early. Thank you for being Dan L’kaf Schus.

  19. I learn’t in a certain Yeshiva in Flatbush that is very close to a Minyan Factory and the Rosh Hayeshiva Assured any bachurim from davening there. He said if you wake up late [anus, of course] it’s better to daven biyechidus in my dorm room than to go there. An Emesdika Ben Torah should NOT be seen there davening a late Shacharis! It creates a Chillul Hashem! The Baaly Batim will unfortunatly always be Dan Lecaf chov & say look at these Yeshiva bachurim, waking up late, etc…

  20. One of best friends does this, do you know why? He has a medical issue and and if the problem didnt exist he would be in shul an hour before most people learning. Please be dan lkaf zechus. Everyone would be better off.

  21. Anyone cares to show this to a Posek & publicise. Be my guest
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  22. With all respect,Tfeilla Btsibur is halacha! Also what difference does it make if their bachurim as long as they are able to come on time to seder whats the problem.

  23. #7 Maybe the wife and infant are waiting in the car and waiting for the next Minyan to start would be a major tircha and maybe impractical?? May be she agrees to let him daven Maaariv on the way home but cannot let him leave once he returns home??
    The outsider has to think of the maybes. But each of us must plan to do it right.

  24. tfillah b’tzibur is different the tfilla with a minyan. If you daven everyday at a different time and roam from shul to shul to suit your needs you are not being yotzei tfillah btzibur. (IIRQ I heard this on a Rabbi Reisman tape) Maybe these late comers are just davening with their regular minyan and you Mr. Frumkeit are not aware?

  25. # 27,

    Huh? Why don’t you quote the exact wording of the halacha. Do you know the all the halachos well to be able to decide in which insistences what should be done?


    As you’ve just seen, even mentioning this can be cause for people to judge negatively. You may want to allow your RY to decide what he will publish on blogs

  26. Whoever looks at his blackberry in shul is already lock stock and barrel in the complete control of the sitra d’achra. (Most victims with blackberry’s already are anyway)

  27. Being dan l’kaf zchus doesn’t mean being delusionary. Almost no one who shortcuts a minyan has a baby waiting in the car or an intestinal disorder r”l.