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The 20 most skipped parts of davening

Yes I have spoken about this before and yes I have even made videos asking other people what parts of davening they are most likely to skip, but I never actually made a good list of the parts that I and most everyone who’s part of the lazydox, not enough time or energy in the morning to bother with long winded Aramaic prayers that we don’t understand anyway crowd.

Modeh Ani: I know it’s sad considering that every kid’s first prayer is modeh ani, but I’ve always neglected it, maybe one of you can give me a good reason to memorize it so I can have something to say before I rock the negel vaaser.

That stuff after the brachas: There are some parts of davening that I say sometimes, maybe I have some extra time or feel like throwing an extra bone to the Lord, but I’m sorry to say that I have never ever in my life even touched that stuff between the brachos and baruch sheomar. I’ve never said that strange shema and I’ve never rocked it with the ketores – although I’ve heard that if you say the ketores thing a few times a day you go straight to heaven, get a better shidduch or some other thing that is always canceled out by the sins you do which make you go straight to hell.

Hodu: Lets face it, hodu is really long and in many siddurs it’s this long 3 pages straight of unbroken prayer that basically does the same thing as the shorter and easier to read hallelukas. Seriously, if the folks at the artscroll monopoly would break up the darned paragraphs in HoduI I’m willing to bet that it may not make it to next years “most skipped parts of davening” list.

Uz Yasheer: Why don’t we just throw in that v’charos imo stuff while we’re at it, I don’t say it, do you? Yes, I know it’s all about the splitting the sea and all of God’s glory, but shit man – we just praised God for like 15 pages and I’m in the mood of sitting – oh wait, we have to stand for yishtabach – dang it.

Post Shema Stuff: Look, when you’re davening half asleep in your underwear you just want to skip that stuff, but in shul I usually say it, but since I never really it I’m slow and usually end up skipping right into shemona esrei after shema. I’m pretty sure that most people do this as well.

Tachnun on Mondays and Thursdays: This is obvious, need I explain to you why no one actually goes through with it. I myself wait until the putting down of the head – everyone’s favorite part of davening because you can catch a quick shluff with your tefillin on.

Uva Letziyon: The Aramaic sucks and it’s at the end of davening anyway, that part where if you’re in shul you can pretend to be a multi tasker and take off your tefillin while mumbling incoherent prayers which God himself cannot understand.

The Wednesday Yom: No I don’t say the Yom except if I happen to be in shul on Friday (I can’t remember the last time that happened) and most definitely not the Wednesday Yom – it’s like double the size of all the other shiur shel yom’s. I wonder if the Wednesday Yom was kind of like a biblical Hump Day?

Burchi Nafshi: Never said it and I’m sure most you don’t either.

L’dovid: It’s almost that time of year when I promise the Lord that I will attempt to say L’dovid so I can get good enough at it to finish in under 15 minutes, but alas I always give up when I realize that while I’m three pasukim in everyone else has left the shul.

Kinos: Ah such fond memories of Tisha B’Av and terrible memories of kinos, the most neglected and daunting prayer in the entire Artscroll repertoire. Seriously it should be banned, I would even volunteer to say Yom Kippur musaf over any kinos. What sucks most about kinos is that you’re sitting on the floor so you usually can’t pass the time by looking over the mechitza and all you want to do is hum the eicha tune.

Hoshanos: I wonder if anyone says them when they aren’t forced to rock it lulav train style in shul? Yes I say hoshanos, but once I lose my place I just walk around screaming the first three hoshanos while I poke peole in their butts with my lulav (woa that sounds really gay)

Repeating Shemona Esrei: Sure, I’ve done it a couple of times, but whenever I screw up and miss some insertion that forces me to repeat shemona esrei I convince myself that I really did say hamelech hakadosh or yale v’yavo. I have a feeling most people don’t repeat shempona esrei.

Bimeh Madliken: So few people actually say this prayer that many left wing modern orthodox congregations have done away with the practice of saying these mishnayos about kindling. I am kind of jealous of my dad who can say it in like 3 minutes flat by heart.

Vayiten Lecha: Shabbos is over and God says, hold the truck up, you need to say just one more long drawn out prayer before you can leave – it’s almost as bad as kiddush levana.

Kiddush Levana: Let’s just say you missed Saturday evening shul one week and it happened to be kiddush levana, then someone tells you to say kiddush levana before it’s too late…do you say it? I sure as hell don’t, who would answer my shalom aleichem’s? I also would feel that much stupider praying to the moon God by myself without the company of the men in black.

Brich Shemei: I’ve said it once…

Full Hallel: I say it begrudgingly, but I bet many people don’t.

Up next: The stuff I actually do say everyday…yes I daven three times day even though maariv is a reshus – whatever the heck that means.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Anonymous

    suggestions: some of these things are really short and if you say them for a week or so, you’ll remember them and they’ll go much faster. (Not that that’s the point of davening)

    Also the Veyitan Lecha is the most beautiful prayer. My husband and I bless each other each week and that’s how we begin out week. Even if you say it with a friend, you’re giving each other a big brocha for Parnasa.

    • I used to say these things. Well, most, at least. But a lot fell off over the years.
      As much as I can remember, the progression was:

      Full krias shema al hamittah
      Early stuff like mah tovu
      Pesukei Dezimrah besides the 3 goalposts
      Repeating Sh”E
      Harachamons
      Tachanun
      Yom except friday, sunday, and shabbos
      Ashrei Uva Letzion (feel bad about this one)

  • Yossi

    LaMenatzeiach and U’va L’tzion for sure. I agree about Hodu. It just gones on and on.

    About B’rich Shmei. It’s really a beautiful prayer. I was in a Chabad Minyan in Suffern NY this past Shabbos (staying at the hospital to be with my sick relative). Anyway, they said B’rich Shmei AND repeated it in English. It was really nice. Brich Shmieh is not too long and has some very beautiful ideas in it. It’s worth looking at.

  • Anonymous

    Ain kelokainu.
    You think shul is finally over on shabbos and you can run to that kiddush and reserve your plate of food and cup of booze – but no.

    • Yossi

      Don’t forget Anim Zemiros with some kid who can barely read hebrew shelpping it out so you have to wait even longer for that first shot of single-malt.

      THEN you have the kaddish zuggers who take so long to say kaddish that they have more people to say kaddish for by the time they’re finished.

      • Yochanan

        I refer to it as “The Talit-folding song”.

      • Real frummies don’t do anim zemiros – that;s how you know your shul is trying to be yeshivish.

  • Jeremiah Michael

    Ha’rachamans in Birkat Hamazon. Kedush Levana, korbanot (other then Korban tamid) and hodu. I also try not too, but end up forgetting about 50% of the time Asher Yotzer.

  • You were refering to Korbanos.
    You got them all. Great minds skip alike.
    I just skip the whole Hoshana Rabba “experience”. Are they kidding?

    What about the long intro to sefira? I just say the brocha and count the number. (When I remember.)

  • Seriously??

    I am a big hallel freak. I love saying every syllable of Hallel. But that is just me. 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Hallel’s fun to sing, but those 2 paragraphs with no tune that make it a full Hallel are no fun

  • Jeremiah Michael

    Me too

  • Yoish!

    I dont know why you bother davening at all if its such a bother to you.
    You either believe or you dont.

    • Yochanan

      It’s one thing to want to connect with HaShem, but another to have to connect to him by reading (or mumbling at lightning pace) 150-200 pages every morning.

      • Frum Jewish Taxpayer

        I think “Yoish!”‘s point is that if you can write in your public writings that you consider some parts to be “throwing a bone to the Lord” (vs. just thinking it), then, what’s the point of davening at all.
        I.E. thinking that thought, or sharing it in a discussion with people you know falls in the category of “gee, I don’t agree with the Rabbis who say put this part in”,
        but posting “bone to the lord” in a public forum, makes one wonder,
        why daven at all?

        • It’s my understanding that the word for prayer, t’fillah, comes from the word meaning “to judge oneself.” So if you’re just going through the motions by mouthing the words, and not looking into yourself in any way, or expressing anything that means anything to you, then indeed, why pray?

          In that case you’re not doing yourself any favors, and you’re certainly not doing God any, either. I suppose maybe you think you’re honoring your mother and/or father by doing what they taught you to do, but I’m not buying that argument.

          • Ken

            “then indeed, why pray?” Because if you never come to the theater, you’ll never see the show. As I see it the idea is, in part, that progressing through the exercise of exploring these themes of t’fillah provides the environment and context in which real connection with God and self is possible and really does happen though clearly not constantly or at every moment.

        • Hank

          The site is called “frum satire.” I take my praying pretty seriously, but I also find the levity above refreshing. We don’t need to pretend that every moment of prayer in the Jewish paradigm is perfectly sublime.

  • I always thought modah ani must have been written by a man with a large bladder, no small children, and a spouse who doesn’t snore. You could only think your soul leaves you at night and returns in the morning if you’re not getting up 2-5 times a night.

    On the other hand, after the first time I performed taharah (ritually washing a dead person), the prayer suddenly had more meaning for me. Here I am, alive this morning, while this other person we washed yesterday is dead. I am so grateful to be alive.

    So I don’t skip it any more.

    • I agree with that. I also say Modeh Ani – an act of gratitude.

    • Lirehagi

      He must not have slept next to the bathroom or been a part of a family of small-bladdered insomniacs either

    • Lirehagi

      I’m relieved to be female.

  • Conservative Scifi

    Yoish,
    Do you think the davening in the temple was the same as the current service? In fact, if you look at bircat hamazon as an example, the talmud records that it started off as a single sentence, and then over time metamorphasized into the four separate berachot we now say. So unless you believe that every piyyut and every section of the prayers was handed to Moshe on Mount Sinai, there is some latitude to limit your prayers to those which are clearly essential and required, such as Shema, Shemoneh Esrai, Ashrei, and Alenu, and hopefully as familiarity increases, add other prayers.

  • Ken

    I hate skipping stuff. The only things on your list I would cut or shorten are the korbanot and the too long standard Mon/Thurs tachanun. I absolutely do not skip or cut the stuff after birchot hashchar (the “weird” shema and mekadesh et shimcha barabim), Uva l’tzion (and I do not remove my t’fillin until the last kaddish is done and wish everyone else wouldn’t either), brikh shmei, hodu, Wed yom, barchi nafshi. In fact my community typically does a different (shorter) tehila in place of barchi nafshi and I quietly insist on reciting barchi nafshi. I’m actually pretty uptight about liturgical correctness (though I simultaneously recognize the reality of the fluid historical development of the modern siddur and embrace the possibility and necessity of making liturgical adjustments in light of developments in theology or communal values about things like the role of women).

    • gebroktz

      you must not be gainfully employed or be required to leave your house for work if you actually say all that and expect others to as well.

      • Ken

        You think it’s impossible to reserve half an hour in the morning before leaving for work? The reality is I *am* gainfully employed and I do find this incredibly difficult and I often fail to do it but gainful employ does not patur us from mitzvot aseh shehazeman grama and I view it as a personal failing, not one excused by my gainful employ. True, reciting a full pesukei d’zimra is not a mitzvah and I do not claim required status for anything more than the matbea shel t’filla but I do maintain what I have outlined is ideal.

      • Mike

        I am employed bh for many years and never leave shul early. If you cant make time for god when its his time, why should make time to give you parnasah…

        • Steve

          That, my friend, is some hard hitting mussar. I like it.

  • Tfilah should be voluntary and from the heart and conscience of the person praying. I personally object to being handed a booklet of officially sanctioned and required prayers. Those are someone else’s words, not mine. Take them as suggestions or as a starting point for your own prayers. Choose the ones that speak to you and offer them. But don’t think for a moment that parroting some ancient phrases in Aramaic or repetitive phrases of “how much I love you, Oh G-d” is really what prayer is all about.

    • Ken

      Jewish tradition embraces both kinds of prayer. It does indeed value spontaneous creative expressions of prayer but it also values fixed traditional prayer. Neither should be discarded.

    • Yossi

      Do you think God needs to be reminded of what you need? The purpose of prayer is to worship God. That is done by reciting the set prayers as composed by Chazal.

      • Ken

        Do you deny that there is a place in Jewish tradition for nonprecomposed prayer? That’s fine if you like, but you’re wrong.

        • Yossi

          Oh Yeah??????!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Well, you’re wrong, so there!!

          • Ken

            What do you want? You want a list of actual citations demonstrating that it is considered proper to insert one’s own individual t’fillot into the various bakashot of the shmoneh esreh provided they are on topic and also to do so on general topics in shma koleinu?

          • I guess the entire chassidic world is done for – because a lot of it is based on random prayer.

            • Yossi

              I don’t know what “random” prayer is. I only meant to suggest that the “lechatchila” of davening is to worship God, not satisfy our own needs. There is a place for “connecting” to God and talking about ourselves, but that ought to be secondary.

              • Seriously??

                Really? Is prayer primarily for worship?

                One might argue that we worship G-d through our mitzvos/conduct. Prayer is for recentering – it is, in brain wave terms, very much like meditation.

                I use tefillah primarily as a means to converse with G-d.

                • Ken

                  In fairness, one of its key roles is as a replacement for the sacrificial worship of the past. As such, yes, it is a stand-in for “avodah,” worship. R. Jonathan Sacks has an excellent exploration of the dual roles of t’fillah in his introduction to the new edition of the Koren Siddur.

                  • Seriously??

                    I am aware of Sacks’ thoughts on this (we know each other, and have corresponded on some of these issues). And I think he is essentially correct that tefillah splits the difference between communal form and individual improvisation.

                    But I don’t think that avodah, or sacrifices, is necessarily worship. Is bringing the korban pesach, worship, specifically? I think it has much more to do with connecting to our founding as a nation, than as worship to Hashem.

                    Let me put this another way: who is the target of our tefillah? Is it Hashem, or is it us?

  • Yes! I’ve been waiting for this post!

    • Yossi

      Ok, your wait is over. Now what?

  • Shuli

    I always say Modeh Ani, and I try to think about why I am saying it too (especially since I was never a morning person and in the past would start off my mornings with a few choice words if you catch my drift, LOL)… Negel vasser is so refreshing to me in the morning and has definitely grown on me. 🙂
    I admit to skipping P’sukei D’Zimrah most days. Sometimes I will just recite the highest priority PD prayers for a change in my davening routine, lol. I esp love Baruch Sheamar
    I usually say Shemoneh Esrei right after the Shema as well 😀

    • Ken

      I never say baruch sheamar, for example when I’m late, unless I’m going to do at least one t’hila and yishtabach as well. Conversely I never say yishtabach if I have not first said baruch sheamar and a t’hila first. The b’rachot of baruch she-amar and yishtabach are brackets around p’sukei d’zimra. If one is going to do one of the brackets one needs to also do the other bracket and a ‘middle’ between them.

      • Shuli

        Gotcha! Thanks! I will remember this from now on (still learning…).

        🙂

  • Classic post hesh! Oh man the worst is these days when my Dad is around in the mornings (usually sundays) and drags me to shul so I have to officially daven. talk about skipping! In spite of not believing, i actually do kind of enjoy the singing parts of shabbos and rocho as long as I can show up late and dont get stuck there for too long

  • Best class I took in Stern taught me all the stuff women are allowed to skip. Goodbye most of pesukei d’zimrah.

  • Rob

    Korbanos is good to skip you are an Ashkenaz davening Nusach Sefard

  • Telz Angel

    Kriyas Shma al Mittah — with the Beracha Hama’apil.

  • FrumGer

    To all the self righteous folks in da house holla’ if Ya hear me! You all will never be as self righteous as I am- Just read some of my past posts… And there are mornings that I want to drive nails in my eyes rather than daven… Sunday mornings after Ive been super jew for 25 hours… come on now.. Do I skip parts? Yes. Do I mumble incoherently.. yes. Do I lack kavanah sometimes.. hell ya… I got to be at work by 8. But see thats why davening is awesome- because when you are feeling it and youre shuckling like hell crying during tachnun and just connecting with Hashem- its good. And when you are so not feeling it and you are just trying to get through olaynu or you got to say all those brachot between Shema and Shemona Esray during Maariv at like 10 pm at night ad you just want to go to bed or check you facebook status. guess what your still connected because you did it… you are one more step, just a little more disciplined. you did something for your heritage, your people, your children , and G-d that you really didnt want to do . So I say davening is really win win. even just doing it has benefit.

  • The worst is the stuff that I always skipped because it wasn’t my minhag, i.e. Baruch Hashem Leolam, Vayitain Lecha, Borchi Nafshi, etc., that I now have to say because I’m an avel davening for the amud. They’re all so friggin long.

    • Steve

      What do pigs do on Shabbat after Mincha?

      They say Porky Nafshi
      (of course, after Pesach, they say Porky Avot)

  • Yochana Fried

    Dear Heshy:

    1) I’m so impressed that even with all your travels & videos you still take a brake 3 times a day to stop & talk to & praise G-d. It is really awesome!
    2) I’m not sure, but I think people should really ask a shaila – it may be better to say many things in English with meaning to them, rather than mumble words we don’t understand in Hebrew – I’m not sure, but I love seeing some of the newly observant pray with so much concentration in English – it kind of makes me jealous.
    3) Heshy – you have brought up a really good point – I think that tefilah is something that can be meaningful & yet difficult in many different ways to many different people. My idea is we should say more in English & bring more meaning to it all – but again I didn’t ask a shaila. Listen, I give you guys so much credit for davening 3 times a day ! as a mother that’s been happily overwhelmed by many little children B”H, I haven’t said a full davening in years – & I don’t know how men do it – y’all should be very proud of the effort you make at tefilah!

  • Peter H Nichols

    “Tachnun on Mondays and Thursdays: This is obvious, need I explain to you why no one actually goes through with it. I myself wait until the putting down of the head – everyone’s favorite part of davening because you can catch a quick shluff with your tefillin on.”

    ROFLMAO!!

  • Josh Shalet

    Hi Heshy. Here some things I dont say… coz im a yekke! here are convenient yekkish frankfurt minhogim to take ur pick of

    Modeh Ani: not a very old minhag. not in siddurim before 16 cent ad
    Korbanos. Say ketores then ezehu mekoman then rabi yishmoel. Thats it!
    Mizmor shir before boruch sheomar: not in ancient siddurim, also halachic problem by us.
    Hoshanos: no saying hoshana after every word or changing the order based on the day of the week chol hamoed falls. e.g. e’eroch shuuee first day and so on
    No brich shmei ever. because also not in ancient siddurim and rabbonim in ashkenaz were apposed to placing kabbalah in tefila.
    We dont say Borchi nafshi or ledovid at all

    • David

      Also, Yekkes only say Av Harachamin twice a year:
      On the Shabbos before Shavuos and on Shabbos Chazon.

    • Anonymous

      Some yekkes, who follow minhag other than Frankfurt, say some of the teffilos that Minhag Frankfurt omit.

  • Ilana

    I never say az yashir :p and if you’re sefardi, you get to sit during yishtabach

    • gebroktz

      if you hold by the Gra you can sit down after baruch sha’amar all the way through the kaddish before barchu.

    • Mike

      The Sephardi sing it all the singing never ends…
      for a non-sephardic to sit through all that singing is pretty tortures, it takes way longer then the typical speedy shtibel minyan.
      I bet if hesh was sephardic this list would be much longer 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Must admit it’s good points, but the uvo letzion parts ……… (calm down on the language)

  • Re: Hodu
    This wouldn’t be a problem is you used a KOREN!

    • UAR

      I recently made the switch from ArtScroll to Koren, I love Koren.

      • Chris_B

        My Artscroll Suddur Kol Yakov is just propping up some other books since I got my Koren Sacks.

        • Mark

          Quick question if you just got koren siddur. How come there’s no kaveih el Hashem before ein keilokeinu in the shabbos musaf?

  • I came to davening on my own, so I try not to skip stuff. I’ve never touched korbanot, though, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I didn’t even know that women don’t have to say Tachanun until I started going to an all-girls school, but I’ve always really liked it. I find Hodu really painful, though. I’m usually davening with a time limit, and I’m glad I can use that as an excuse to skip it.

    • Ken

      I’m not convinced even boys “have to” say either tachanun or hodu. Especially hodu. P’sukei D’zimra is not matbeah and not mandatory. I’m fairly certain tachanun is also not strictly speaking mandatory, but I’m certain that the specifics of reciting 10 single spaced pages of it on Mon and Thurs is not.

  • KosherSquirrel

    How about the prayers that are (typically) skipped by the congregation?

    For instance, everyone is familiar with the Yehei Shmei response between the first two sections of the Kaddish. But what about the other three response lines that appear between each of the remaining sections of the Kaddish Shalem? (Kabel b’rachamin… is one) These are found right there in Artscroll, along with a handful of older siddurim. But does there exist a shul on the planet that recites these lines aloud?

    The Shabbos/YT Torah service has, after Rom’mu, a lengthy Al HaKol paragraph, followed by a shorter Av HaRachamim. Does anyone sing these? There’s also that Etz Chaim right after Hagbah, but my Chabad sings that (albeit with last line mumbled) since they don’t do U’vnucho Yomar which contains the usual the Etz Chaim.

    How about the Kaveh El Hashem just before Ein Kelokeynu?

    Finally there’s the Al Tirah after (the Kaddish after) Aleinu. Again, that’s almost universally sung by Chabad, but anywhere else?

    • Josh Shalet

      Yekkes sing Al Hakol and AvHarachamim together on Yom Yov. The rest of the year they are just said without any niggun

  • KosherSquirrel

    A few more for your list:

    The lengthier paragraphs associated with putting on Tallis and Tefilin (Hi’neni Mekhaven, etc.)

    The Ten Commandments, 13 principles,and other supplements at the end of Shacharit, such the prayer for leaving the synagogue.

    The 15 Tehillim in Mincha for Shabbos, which are said from Sukkot until just before Shabbat HaGadol. Not all congregations have this minhag, though. These Psalms include all of the Shirei HaMaalot. But the first one is Burchi Nafshi. Was this the one you were referring to? Or were talking about the one said after Shir Shel Yom on Rosh Hodesh (which, also, is not done by all congregations).

    Incidentally, if you ever need motivation to say some of these prayers, check out the colorful imagery used in the Kabbalah Centre’s (yes, that one) siddur. They describe reciting the Torah passages found inside the Tefillin as “rebooting” the Tefillin. Or they liken that “strange” Shema to a rocket booster for the prayers to follow. The nusach is Sephardit.

  • UAR

    The most limited shaccrit I ever do is when I am running insanley late in the morning in that situtaion I have to admit I only do.

    Adon Olam, Daily Sacrifice Reading, Only the Sh’ma (as in three paragraphs, omit the extra stuff after) Shmona Esray, Vidduy, Daily Psalm.

  • UAR

    I was talking about weekday, if you already didn’t assume that.

  • On the Koren thing, maybe it’s just me, but everyone I see using them are generally pretentious jerks. It just seems to attract that preppy Modern Orthodox crowd.

    Disclaimer: I am not calling Modern Orthodox preppy or pretentious. Just saying the ones who use the Koren Sacks in my experience have totally been.

    • Ken

      I actually don’t use it currently but I do like its look. What I definitely highly recommend whether someone’s going to make it his/her regular go to siddur or not is Sack’s introduction essay at the front. It is outstanding.

  • UAR

    haha, ok honestly I would say that your observation is pretty apt. I actually have, believe it or not seen one guy who is like 75 and uses his koren for everything.

    But all in all I think that you are right with the general Koren crowd, kinda funny with english translation and without. My hebrew is not great so I daven half and half in english and hebrew so a nice translation is important to me and I think Koren’s is beautiful.

  • Josh Shalet

    Things frankfurt yekkes miss out (which is funny because we do say a lot of things no one else says!)

    Take your pick!
    No Modeh Ani (not in ancient siddurim)
    Korbanos (Parshas Hatomid, Ezehu Mekoman, Rabi Yishmoel, thats it!)
    No Mizmor Shir Before Boruch Sheomar (because of Halachic problen of saying tehillim beforhand)
    No goaleynu before Shmeme Esrei (see modeh ani)
    No shomer yisroel in Tachanun except on Tzom Gedalya and Taanis Ester (shachris only)
    No Brich Shemei ever (rabbis in ashkenaz had problem with adding kabbalah into the siddur)
    No Kaddish after oleynu (after shir shel yom only)
    No Borchi Nafshi, Ledovid or special shir for yom tov (regular shir only, even in israel)
    No Ana Bekoach before Lecho Dodi
    No Yehi Ratzon after Leining on mon and thurs
    No Ein Keilohenu every day (even in Israel)
    No special Yehi Ratzon for guests in benching (because not mentioned in yerushalmi or seen in anciet siddurim)
    No olaynu after mincha on friday or if maariv is straight away
    No yom tov pesukei dezimra on Hoshana Raba
    Hoshanos: read straight through with nice tune i.e. no repeating HOSHONA after each word

    Almost everthing else we do say, so being a Yekke you win some you lose some!

  • Steve

    Long tachanun is definitely one that I have to skip. If I were to read the whole thing, it would take me like 20 minutes! They would be done davening almost by the time I’m done haha. I end up reading the first and last paragraphs of the long mon/thurs insertion and then doing the regular part. Barich Shimei is another one. I don’t know how everyone reads it so quickly! Maybe I’m just a slow BT, but I have a feeling people aren’t really pronouncing all the words. For those who skip ashrei and u’va l’tzion, you really shouldn’t. Skip pesukei d’zimrah, fine. But those two are very important.

    • Ken

      The current Conservative Siddur, Siddur Sim Shalom, provides 4 or 5 paragraphs worth of additional tachanun material for Mon and Thurs and suggests the user recite one or more of them. When I first encountered it I thought it was just watering down the davening but on later reflection I actually think it’s a very good thing. The 10 page “standard” version is excessive and invites being skipped entirely. The approach taken in the Sim Shalom preserves the extension of Tachanun on Mon and Thurs while avoiding the tircha of the standard version. As the standard version is not exactly misinai I think providing some options, perhaps alongside the standard version, for those who want a shorter alternative (heck, even the Amidah has an official short form though it is generally not used today) is appropriate.

  • Steve

    What do pigs say on Shabbat after Mincha?

    Porky Nafshi (Of course after Pessach the say Porky Avot).

  • Steve

    Actually, I say everything, including some parts the tsibur doesn’t. And if it’s a matter of getting to work on time, well, certain days I go to the earlier minyan (at 5:50). And yes, while I’m amused by the satire of this article, I do find some of the comments a tad ‘disturbing’.
    I’m not that surprised that the haredim are a ‘growth industry’, while modern orthodoxy, well, to put it mildly, is not.

  • Ari

    What’s left?

    I spent most of my adult life conveniently skipping everything between brachos & Mizmore Shir, and skimming longer versions of the other stuff. I never said bameh madlikin (is that even tefillah?) and my synagogue didn’t say Vayeeten after Ma’ariv on Saturdays. Also, I almost never went to synagogue on weekday mornings (to say nothing of Mincha) and when I davened at home, I had no problem giving myself an extra 5 minutes and then “charging Hashem” the extra time by cutting out half of psekukei d’zimrah.

    Given that background, I found this post well-intentioned but disturbing. Satire works best when it finds a way to make a joke out of our reality. But this article didn’t do that at all. It just showed the reality and expected to be taken as a joke. It’s especially disturbing because it fits the general trend of modern orthodoxy which is becoming dominant in orthodox judaism which is to take on as many religious practices as possible and take them seriously as least as possible. On the subject of davening, people daven, but demonstrably don;t care about it. People come late, they leave early (unsurprisingly, the late arrivals are frequently the first to desert), they skip and they shmooze. Despite the unambiguous language of halachos against speaking during certain parts of davening (written by intelligent men who presumably would have accounted for gabbaim having to work the room on Saturday mornings), shmoozing is the rule. Despite the fact that davening doesn’t end with Aleinu, a large chunk of any modern orthodox congregation can be counted to on to be out the door, tallis bags under their arms, before Adon Olam starts on Saturdays. (Perhaps we should stop calling “Adon Olam” by its 1st words and instead call it “End Credits”; if this were a marvel Superhero movie, there’d be a cool post-credit scene, but your reward for sticking it out in synagogue is the rabbi’s speech or an appeal.) On weekdays in my synagogue I see this one doofus who consistently shows up in time for Yishtabach and is wrapping up his tefillin by Aleinu. He finishes before me, but manages to leave when I do, making up the time chatting up other early-wrappers. Recently, doofus was given the chance to be shliach tzibur in our minyan due to a chiyuv. The way he skimmed the pages of that siddur, you’d think it was a copy of the tax code, or the manual on Obama care. Perhaps he flipped the pages so quickly, the letters became animated. This behavior is not really new nor is it unique to a few individuals – instead the exception has become the rule. Worse, worrying circumstances in recent history would suggest a need for a more sincere approach to god and the way we communicate with him/her/it. Whether it’s worries over Israel (widening of the war in syria, islamization in Egypt, nuclear iran, legitimization of Hamas, BDS, Turkey, etc) or at home (people wiped out by Sandy or the economy) we should be davening better and longer than we have’ But the “real world” doesn’t intrude much past those doors to “the main sanctuary”, and all recent problems join those of past eras in failing to arouse orthodox jews from their stupor. Regimes rise and fall, wars have been won and lost, people died, fortunes disappear, and whole communities have been wiped away. But none of that registers in davening.

    That is not to say that davening hasn’t changed at all. On the contrary, you can always count on a synagogue to have chazanim for sabbath and the holidays; more men wear black hats and everybody is quick to seize on hebrew or yiddish phrases when an english one would have been just fine.

    Of course it’s human nature to expend more energy on exterior appearances than what’s inside and never seen. But when the gap between our priorities for the one and the other reaches a point where the appearances become everything – when looking and sounding like a religious jew become more important than doing the things one would think incumbent on a genuinely religious jew (like davening everything between brachos and shir shel yom) then being a “orthodox jew” becomes nothing more than grandiose theatrics.

    I don’t know how religious a jew I am. I can’t be sure how much of my heart is in it, but I try not to sweat that (my bar mitzvah haftorah has the famous warning of the heart’s untrustworthiness). I do know that I used to skip. That changed in 2009 after a routine trip to Israel. Suddenly I found that I could get myself to shul on a daily basis, and even find time to say Akeidah, Korbanos and Ketores. I’ve figured out how to finish with Ketores by the time the shliach tzibur (who started 5 minutes later than I did) starts saying “Rabbi Yishmael”. I’ve changed my ways for reasons that I don’t understand – disdain for self-righteous modern orthodox jews has to figure in their somewhere. But the point is, this is a real problem for all of us. We have to deal with it, and that means we have to start taking it seriously.

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  • Kendra

    I’m surprised you have a thing against Brich Shemei because it is pretty short (or at least not crushingly long if I am misunderstanding its length). It even has two different ways to be read (as so many of these prayers do).

    But I like the dark reading because I really do wonder how the frum are going to handle it when the year 6K bug hits Judaism. (I may be a horrible person for this but I find it far far far easier to believe in the Resurrection of the Body than that Olam Ha Ba is only a few generations away.)(And privately, my take on Resurrection is “sure, nothing is impossible for HaShem, I’ll believe it when I go through it and not a moment before”)

    What is the dark reading of brich shemei? It’s a plea for fortune and longevity for two reasons: first because it will take every possible minute of any Jew’s lifespan to truly become a person whose memory is a blessing. And because it will take every minute of good fortune of every Jew’s lifespan ever to reach a point where “Great is the peace of your children”.

    Why such pessimism? Because the prayer draws an implicit parallel between bread and the land it grows on and the parshat and the personal, inner Torah scroll it is rooted in. Clearly, the Jews collectively have spiritual dietary malabsorption issues and need to eat and eat of all the blessings and learning possible to avoid spiritually starving to death.

    The upbeat reading of it is quietly beautiful if you’re in a place to do that, too.

    (I confess I”m not frum by birth so I am really confused why you dislike it if the part “Ana avda d’kudisha” isn’t part of it. I see a paragraph break in English but not in Hebrew…I admit that both paragraphs pushes the length up. (Especially since it seems most people also skip this part given how little time is allocated for it during service). But that second half just flies by because it’s one of the most straightforward, exhilarating “even an absolute apikorus can agree with this” prayer in the service. (and our congregation has a nice tune for most of the second half which is a particularly good fit))

    I’m not saying this in a chiding rebuking tone either. I’m curious what earns the ire toward it and not say, any of the longest psalms or titbarach tzureinu just before the sh’ma. (that’s one of the more difficult ones)

    I also find the shemona esrai itself extremely taxing just because it’s hard to really muster the optimism for a prayer that peaks with “it’s so awesome that we have no reason to think our prayers are simply ignored, yay!” I’m getting better at looking at the glass one hundredth full and giving thanks for very meager baselines but it is really really hard.

    I’d never skip it, but there’s times I accidentally on purpose delay davening so that I have no choice but to say the abridged version. I don’t know if the frum form birth in practice ever do such a thing. There’s not many machmir Jews in my neck of the woods.

    I emphasize that I know I don’t know much, not living in a frum community. But I am curious how those of you living there see it.

  • Charles Milenko

    Here is Brich Shmei in Hebrew. It is copied from the siddur “Shirah Chadashah” which was printed long ago, so I don’t think there is a copyright issue.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d7ec1bfb1c1a371c464121f2a1f8328daed2eaf196cc778701fab45de559f533.jpg

  • Charles Milenko

    Here is Brich Shmei in Hebrew. It is copied from the siddur “Shirah Chadashah” which was printed long ago, so don’t think there is a copyright issue. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d7ec1bfb1c1a371c464121f2a1f8328daed2eaf196cc778701fab45de559f533.jpg

  • Charles Milenko
  • Charles Milenko

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