Rant: Shull Talkers

The Rabbi stops the davening to wait for a bunch of people who are talking in shull. The baakl koreh stops laining to wait for a few rude, non-G-d fearing folks who feal talking about their new sheitle or some reality TV show is more important then listening to the torah reading. The board of the shull has had enough with the talking and decides to make members sign legally binding contracts that prohibit talking in shull. Members of the shull decide to make their own shull so that they could go to shull to talk.

I guess those hard benches that make your butt fall asleep are more conducive to good conversation then the living room couch. Or maybe the people talking are the types that can only function with back round noise and since its shabbos they cant leave the stereo or TV on and they need the laining or davening as their back round noise. Maybe shull is just to danged long and everyone who goes has ADD and cannot concentrate through hours of saying things you don’t understand to a G-d you don’t believe in. Or maybe you just don’t realize the halachic ramifications of talking in shull. Whatever it may be, heres another crisis you can ad to the lists with shidduch crisis, treif chicken scandals, kids and risk, bugs in water, and school tuition costs spiraling out of control.

I compare the whole situation to the movie theater. The movie starts and no one besides the token ghettoed out dude will talk during the film. A few screams, maybe some soda spilt on someone’s lap, but generally the theater is quiet. I have notced people answering their phones lately which is bastardly and deserves some whoop ass, but this is rare. Why is it rare? Because having someone throw popcorn at you from 5 rows back while people say shhh really loudly is embarrassing. No one wants to be the theater talker.

One would think that when the Rabbi stops and looks at the offending party of talkers they would be embarrassed and either shut up or take it out to the back room where the urn with tea is kept. Nope two minutes later they are yakking about the newest 24 episode or hwo much money they made in the market that week. Most of the talk would probably be assur on shabbos anyway. Loshon harah, business dealings gossip whatever. Now what if someone were to hurl a siddur from across the room to try and make the talkers shut up. Yes I know you cannot throw a siddur, but what if someone got so pissed off trying to pray to G-d that he threw a siddur. Yes anarchy would engulf the shull and random fights would break out, replete with people yanking each others sheitles off and crushing each others black hats into lubavitch styles. Amidst the pulling of ties and screaming the Rabbi would scream have you all gone insane and then everyone would realize how stupid they were. Or maybe people can just save the candy bags from bar mitzvahs so they have ammunition to throw at the accused shull talkers. Talk about embarrassing, I guess the whole halacha of embarrassing someone in public may override the averah of talking in shull.

This is one of the reasons shulls may want to endorse kiddish clubs. In my shull that’s when everyone spoke and got drunk of course. But instead of disturbing others they all went upstairs and talked of mundane weekly things while downing Grey Goose and cream herring. The kiddish club allowed everyone who was bored with the classic 3 hour long modern orthodox liberal davening. Problem was that everyone left besides say ten people, we had an open to everyone including women kiddish club, I guess the upper west side was more progressive in that department.

Is there a cause to everyone talking during davening? Is it narrowed to certain categories of people within the orthodox communities? I would say yes and no. The second question is definitely no, since I have been to yeshivish, modern and chasidish shulls in which everyone talks away. My experience is quite limited to Manhattan, NJ, upstate NY and the rest of the country. Though according to my friend Rivky a resident of Cedarhurst, NY has told me that the problem runs wild her neighborhood as well as most of the five towns. Fortunately or not I have never spent a shabbos in the five towns to witness this. She says in her shull which is located in Cedarhurst, the women are the ones who are most chatty while the men don’t seem as talkative.

I wonder what other solutions could be thought of. My siddur throwing wouldn’t work, ut come think of it candy throwing might work unless it becomes a whole ruckus, replete with the whole sheitle pulling scenario I mentioned above, and I shure as hell wouldn’t mess with some of those sheitle hookers in their leather mini skirts and CFM (come f me) 

boots. But what else can be done, because apparently nothing has worked, maybe build shulls that only allow talking, so you go to shull to talk rather then daven. The problem is that your back round noise is replaced by the chatter of all the people who tell their friends they go to some shull that doesn’t have davening just talking. Nah that sounds too far fetched. How about just not go to shull, you can wake up late, lounge around, its not called day of rest for nothing. Would it be better to come to shull daven a little and talk the whole time or just stay at home. Its not like coming and talking makes a good impression on the kids anyway if that’s what your worried about.