Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Sacred space

 Religious Jews are welll aware of the idea of holinesss regarding objects. But the idea also applies to space. For example the requirement to stand up when a rosh yeshiva or Torah is close by

We also know that certain areas belong to others and thus can not be violated. Prayer requires having restricted access to the area in front or behind someone praying. 

I am interested in the fact that in many situations frum people feel it their right or obligation to interfere with others so they have maximal space. It is not only those who dig out illegal and unsafe spaces under their apartment or neighbor's apartments

Today the sidewalk in front of the shul was blocked by a car parked up against the entrance because someone was late coming to minyan because his wife needed to get to hospital to give birth and since he would have missed the minyan if he looked for a normal parking space 

Also someone brought their child to minyan because his wife was tired and the child screamed all during tefila. 

In addition are the tzadikim who insist on praying in the aisle or entrance so they have enough space for three steps before and after. My son told me he witnessed at Ponovich, that one rosh yeshiva's way to the bathroom was blocked by a tzadik saying a very long Amida in the isle. The gabbayim simply lifted him and stood him on a nearby bench while he continued talking with G-d. Some people seem to think' if they need something they  should take it. 


  1. A Rav I used to learn with, now a"h, used to explain it this way: we are in an era where Bein Adam L'Makom is the only type of mitzvah that matters. The person who gives tzedakah not out of love for his fellow man but because he wants the mitzvah count. The guy I saw yelling at his father because he was trying to do something for him, the father was saying he didn't want him to, so he screamed at his father "You're interfering with my mitzvah!" Or the guy who shoves you out of the way so he can see the Torah during Hagbah.
    Me, and only me is the current style.

    1. Eh, anectotal evidence is the worst form of evidence. Yes, some people are mentally selfish but that doesn't bear on the whole group. I such a person weren't a "frumie" he would be just as selfish if not more. His frumkeit has no bearing on his actions

    2. Garnel IronheartMay 2, 2024 at 8:00 AM

      Ah, but you're proving a different, more dangerous point. If the whole point of learning and observing mitzvos is to refine a person and elevate his character, then what's going on? If he wasn't religious, he'd be a selfish menuval. And now that he's religious, he's still a selfish menuval. So what's the point of all his learning?

    3. Please See following as a reply

  2. Torah only improves ppl who want to improve. (See Meged Givos Olam vol.1pg 25 Rav Leib Malin said "Torah is not an oven", it doesnt "bake a person automatically". Furthermore, there is no way of knowing how much bigger of a pariah he would have been had he not learnt torah. (Ad loc.).

    1. Garnel IronheartMay 3, 2024 at 2:12 PM

      So to be clear - learning isn't intended to make you a better person?

    2. I totally agree with "disagree" -
      A person is a tzaddik or a rasha personality, whether they are frum or not, whether they are learned or not. If a narcissist/psycho learns and gets semicha, it doesn't change his nature, it just emboldens his bad behaviour, at best he learns how to conceal his overt behaviour but it comes out anyway.


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