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Have you ever davened in a phone booth

There used to be this story in yeshiva about a guy who was davening in a phone booth at the airport, and all these people were standing around wondering what he was doing because it said out of order. Davening in phone booths is the classic thing to do, unfortunately the phone booth has become none existent with the proliferation of cell phones, and people are forced to do things like pretend to talk on their cell phones or blackberries is funny language in order to daven.

Enter the prayer booth, an artist from Kansas City thought it a good idea to create these public prayer booths in NYC where there was a large Jewish population (nah he had no idea we phone booth mincha prayers existed) but its a great idea.

The only problem is that the two prayer booths he created are located at the entrance to the tram that goes to Roosevelt Island. First of all, I guess he is hinting that prayer will save you in a tram accident, but what was he thinking. Has anyone who reads this site ever been to Roosevelt Island? Exactly, no Jews who would need this the most have ever gone there. I don’t even think theres a Chabad on RI.

In fact I grew up in the city and have never figured out how to drive there, my brother recently rode his bike there and wandered around like a tourist.

Hat Tip VIN

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • tnspr569 November 12, 2008, 9:39 AM

    The Roosevelt Island Bridge connects the Queens neighborhood of Astoria to Roosevelt Island. (see wikipedia for more details)

  • tnspr569 November 12, 2008, 9:39 AM

    I’m sorry, it connects Roosevelt Island to Long Island City. Whoops.

  • dys November 12, 2008, 9:42 AM

    No, I haven’t davened in a phone booth, but I have changed my clothes in a phone booth to a spadex suit and cape and flown off to save Metropolis from danger.

  • tesyaa November 12, 2008, 9:46 AM

    Those of us old enough to remember the 1980s have davened in a phone booth, probably numerous times. Nowadays, you need a stairwell or something.

  • Don't Jew me November 12, 2008, 9:55 AM

    I davened a couple of times…back when I did the 3 times a day thing.

  • Anonymous November 12, 2008, 12:03 PM

    When the Roosevelt Island cable car got stuck a few years ago special kosher l’pesach food had to be shipped up there because a chassidic family was among those trapped. Just saying…

  • anon November 12, 2008, 12:43 PM

    I guess being Chabad I cant relate to this post at all. Were so used to doing embarrasing things in public (like asking random strangers if they’re Jewish and offering shabbos candles to them) that davening in public really feels like no big deal to me! Be Jewish and proud!

  • Ed November 12, 2008, 1:12 PM

    I was with a friend in Time Square once, so we hit up mincha in an ATM vestibule, not quite as private, but it works

  • I got it! November 12, 2008, 1:43 PM

    Chabad is indeed in Roosevelt Island!


    (Sorry it doesn’t work as a link; just resort to the old “cut & paste” method..)

  • Chans November 12, 2008, 2:09 PM

    Anon-you took the words right out of my mouth. Ive seen Muslims whip out prayer mats in the middle of subway stations and airports. If they can do that , we can definitely mutter a few words under our breath without being embarassed.

  • Batya November 12, 2008, 2:36 PM

    They just don’t make phone booths like they used to.
    I once walked into a ladies hat store and asked if there was a corner I could mincha in. Then I bought a hat.
    Sometimes park benches are good, but it depends on the weather.

  • Baltimore, the city that breeds November 12, 2008, 3:32 PM

    Guess again……

    tnspr569 // Nov 12, 2008 at 9:39 am

    The Roosevelt Island Bridge connects the Queens neighborhood of Astoria to Roosevelt Island. (see wikipedia for more details)

    2 tnspr569 // Nov 12, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Im sorry, it connects Roosevelt Island to Long Island City. Whoops

  • shua November 12, 2008, 3:32 PM

    no, but i’ve made a phone call in a prayer booth 🙂

  • Baltimore, the city that breeds November 12, 2008, 3:33 PM

    If you need a hint, ask the person in this blog entry

  • Baltimore, the city that breeds November 12, 2008, 3:33 PM

    click on link

  • Anonymous November 12, 2008, 5:28 PM

    there is chabad on ri

  • suitepotato November 12, 2008, 5:32 PM

    anon // Nov 12, 2008 at 12:43 pm, feel free to do that in CT. We have no paucity of preachers who set up services in small parks (read: empty lots the town does nothing with) and set up big speakers and belt out sermons in Spanish that can probably be hear in Spain where they are no doubt making angry comments on the grammar and elocution barely loud enough to be heard above the din from the 70s era bandstand speakers.

    Anyhow, right on, be proud.

  • Crawling Axe November 12, 2008, 5:43 PM

    Its interesting how when you want to say a place is a hell-hole (at least from Jewish perspective), you say that it doesnt even have Chabad.

    No, Ive never davened in a phone booth, but I did daven next to a gas station on Merrimack Highway.

  • Frum Satire November 12, 2008, 6:54 PM

    I just bust out davening wherever, I have davened in every state, usually right next to my car on the side of the highway.

  • Left Brooklyn and never looked back November 12, 2008, 9:55 PM

    This “booth” is discriminatory, it is way to small for a minyan!

    BTW, RI does have Chabbad, but it is very shvach. There is one shul, RI Jewish Congregation. The Rabbi (Leana Moritt) is very cool (but then us chick rabbi’s tend to be cool)!!

  • Chris_B November 13, 2008, 12:15 AM

    I dig the little posts to hang your backpack/purse/man-sack but this thing is too small to be a proper booth. I’m old enough to remember full on phone booths in NYC, they still exist in Tokyo but are far fewer these days.

  • yakidy yak November 13, 2008, 12:31 AM

    what’s a man-sack that you would hang up for davening? ;-S

  • c silverberg November 13, 2008, 9:23 AM

    hesh a mutual friend of ours who lives right around the corner and has a daughter who hangs out at my house, happens to have a prayer phone booth at his house.

  • Chris_B November 13, 2008, 9:47 AM

    yakidy yak:

    It aint what you are thinking! “man-sack” is a non insulting way to refer to those purse style bags that some men seem to carry these days. It aint a backpack or messenger bag, but it aint quite a purse (though it might as well be).

    OTOH, my rabbi pointed out a prayer for correct bodily functions in the Artscroll Siddur today, so perhaps there might be a reason to daven involving that other kind of man-sack…


  • Frum Satire November 13, 2008, 1:12 PM

    Man Sack I love it!

  • s(b.) November 13, 2008, 8:06 PM

    murse = man purse

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