Rebuking the Rebuker

The five weekday minyanim that I regularly daven at in my neighborhood are usually quiet during weekday davening. However last week, two young men were engaging in conversation during Chazara HaShas.

Here’s a conversation that did not take place:

Me: You know the Shulchan Aruch brings down that it’s a serious aveira to talk during Chazaras HaShas?

Young Man: I’m not quite convinced that you’re so concerned about my spiritual well being – but thanks anyway.

Me: Well I like to daven in a place that is quiet.

Young Man: That’s nice, but right now I prefer a little bit of shmoose time with my friend.

Me: But my preference is backed by the halacha.

Young Man: I learned that a person should not use the Torah as a spade to dig, which I was taught means you should not use the Torah for your only personal gain.

Me: It’s not my personal gain, it’s better for the whole Tzibbur if the Shul is quiet.

Young Man: And it’s also better for the whole Tzibbur if this is not a place of sinas chinam – didn’t you watch any Tisha B’Av videos this year?!

Me: There’s an understanding in this Shul that people don’t talk during davening.

Young Man: I usually don’t talk, but today I did and I think you are seriously transgressing the halachos of rebuke.

Me: Perhaps you’re right. Sorry for not handling this properly.

Young Man: No problem.

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