Bein Adam LeChavero Opportunities in Shul – Part 2

Here are 26 more Bein Adam LeChavero opportunities in Shul from David Bar-Cohn. See the first 22 opportunities here.

22. Davening Shemonah Esrei quietly, so people aren’t distracted by your whispering.

23. In general, not singing or davening so loudly that you take over the room and draw people’s attention, or that people mistake your voice for the ba’al tefillah’s (the leader).

24. Not getting angry when someone sings or davens too loudly.

25. Being careful not to bother or brush by people davening Shemona Esrei.

26. Standing toward the front of the room when davening a long Shemona Esrei, so people in front of you who daven faster aren’t made to wait before stepping back.

27. Agreeing to be the ba’al tefillah if the gabbai needs someone.

28. If you’re a ba’al tefillah, knowing the usual pace of davening and not being matriach (bothering, delaying) people with long davening or slow tunes.

29. As a ba’al tefillah, finding out how much singing is desired/expected.

30. Having patience for a ba’al tefillah who is too slow – or fast – for your taste, or who sings too much – or too little.

31. Not yelling corrections at the ba’al tefillah, but approaching them in a subtle and friendly way when necessary.

32. Not expressing impatience at a ba’al tefillah, e.g. by saying “Nu?” when you want them to start chazarat hashatz (the repetition), or shouting “Yitgadal!” if they pause a bit before kaddish.

33. Not davening so long if it’s a small minyan and you think it may hold up chazarat hashatz.

34. Not getting upset at people who unknowingly delay chazarat hashatz with their long davening.

35. If you have a talent at it, offering in advance to be the ba’al koreh (Torah reader).

36. Not correcting the ba’al koreh if it’s not your place to do so.

37. Being careful not to embarrass the ba’al koreh by harshly correcting them – especially a bar mitzvah or a young or inexperienced reader.

38. Not talking audibly during chazarat hashatz, kriyat hatorah or kaddish, so as not to distract, disrespect or show lack of caring to the person reciting.

39. Not embarrassing someone who’s talking by loudly “shushing” them or otherwise showing anger.

40. Answering “amen” and singing along audibly, so that people leading davening or saying kaddish feel good that people are listening and participating.

41. Expressing genuine simcha for people celebrating significant life-events in shul, and likewise sympathy for mourners.

42. Showing joy when your children come to sit with you, and making it a positive experience even if they distract your davening, talk, don’t daven, etc.

43. Making sure your children aren’t disturbing others.

44. Helping someone who gets a kibud (honor) in shul and doesn’t know what to do, but without embarrassing them.

45. Acknowledging people who get kibudim with a handshake, smile, “yishar koach,” etc.

46. Not being put off when you don’t get kibudim – just the opposite, wanting others to have the honor, feeling reluctant to “take” when you can give.

47. If you’re the gabbai, using kibudim to include people, make them feel welcome, not ignored.