Qedushas Beis HaKenesses

When a Jew talks during davening in a shul in America,
A shul in Netzarim is set aflame.
That’s the lesson I took from this Elul. The feelings generated from pictures of the fires and celebrations made me realize something. I care a lot more about the sanctity of a synagogue and all that it stands for than what I follow through in action.A thought, written minutes before I leave for Selichos: We have an opportunity to use those feelings as they are awoken by the news, to take the awe for Hashem that one can only feel as hurricane after hurricane washes away entire cities and leaves us no means of help but prayer.

For some shuls, thank G-d, speaking is not the issue. In some places, perhaps it’s that people trickle in 15 minutes or more late. In another, the davening runs as it should, but no one thinks of putting away the siddurim afterward; the sefarim collect on the tables in every-growing piles. Each of us can look at where we are and ask ourselves — what can I do constructively to address the loss of sanctity as synagogues burned to the ground amidst celebrations and looting?

So I ask you: Please don’t talk to me in shul. I’m weak, and easily distracted.

And your thoughts...?