I don’t think so, but you should know that I have. I was in this shul in Atlanta once and I swear that the place was swarming with BT’s. You would thought it was an information seminar for Aish, Ohr Someyach and Chappelles. Like any strange out of town shul, there were also a lot of characters, I’m sure some of them were also BT’s. There was the Israeli-Sephardic handyman guy and the token black hat guy who didn’t look much frummer than a YU guy – he was fiddling with his smart phone during the entire shemona esrei.
Anyway, I’m standing on the side towards the back minding my own business and I can suddenly feel wind on my face. This crazy mofo was doing some sort of cross between a spin cycle and the Nazi march. I’m not sure that chazal had this in mind when praying to the Lord, sure if you’re at some kever and there’s a little intermediary son of God action going on that’s one thing – but flailing your arms like a crazy drunken drowning man while talking to the Lord seems a bit much.
Fact is, I never liked crazy shuckling much, but always busted it out in moments of terror, like during room searches in yeshiva or whenever I prayed for a snow day. But those were different times, in my old age I had thought extensively about how praying directly to God should be done standing still and therefore violent shuckling seemed like a crazy thing to do. Hence the reason, irrational Jews like Baal Teshuvas were always doing it. I only say irrational, because which rational Jew would give up bacon, Saturday morning cartoons and being able to drive to shul for a summer at Ohr Someyach? Seemed fairly irrational to me and it spilled over into their frantic body shakes during shemona esrei.
So there I was minding my business, kind of enjoying the wind from this guys arms when I was taken out. The crazed, deranged, bewildered BT, suddenly decided to end shemona esrei and proceeded to take 3 giant steps (nothing to do with Coltrane) back and knocked me over in the process. He was so lost in the shuckel that he hadn’t even noticed and I didn’t even bother mentioning anything because getting too close would mean getting my head chopped off with windmill arms.
Find out more about BT’s on 4torah.com