Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Can't Daven

לזכות אלחנן בן הענא מרים שיצליח ללמוד תורה ולהיות יהודי מתוך הרחבת הדעת ופרנסה בשפע!!

I don't daven in such shuls on principal but many people do.

Which shuls?

The one's that ensure that men don't have kavana.

Why would they do that??

Let me explain. 

A guy walks down the street and there is nothing he can do. The yetzer hara burns like the summer sun [the temperature these days is about 98.6. Perfect on the inside but boiling on the outside...]. So all he can do is look down and focus on a kashya of Rebbi Akiva Eiger until he is out of danger. 

But when he gets to shul he needs respite from this yetzer. Now is time to focus on Hashem! But, lo and behold, the local shul has a "mechitza" that ensures that EVERY WOMAN in shul is clearly visible. Is it only me or does this distract other people as well? Abaye admitted that he has a yetzer [see Succah 52]. We ALLLL do if we are healthy. We are also somewhat desensitized but it is still there [and SHOULD BE]. 

So these shuls think that they are doing the women a service by making them feel more part of things. I am not denying a woman's right to feel connected to the davening and the "action" is on the men's side. Not negating that. But there is a downside as well. Even if one contends that these pseudo-mechitzos are not a breach of halacha [highly debatable], they are certainly not in the SPIRIT of the law. [The obligation of mechitza is a good future topic for a post but beyond my present time constraints].

It prevents people like me from davening in those shuls and for those who do, it draws their attention away from what should be the main focus - kirvas Elokim.    

If someone claims that he has no interest in the people on the other side of the mechitza he is either lying or is suffering from very low testosterone levels. Or he is on the level of Dovid Hamelech who killed his yetzer hara [לבי חלל בקרבי]. 

Let us appreciate the sanctity of shuls and importance of tzniyus and separation. קדושים תהיו means פרושים תהיו because כל מקום אשר אתה מוצא גדר ערוה אתה מוצא קדושה! Who said it better than Rashi Hakadosh?!!