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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mincha Marathon

One of the bizarre things about Orthodox weddings is that from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave somebody is trying to shnor you into a minyan. They want you to pray. “Have you davened Mincha yet?” “There’s a Mincha starting.” “Did I miss Mincha?” “When’s the next Mincha?” At one point last night I told a guy, don’t worry, there’s one leaving every 20 minutes.

No sooner did I arrive at this wedding last night (after 2 hours of driving, no less), and try to find a piece of pound cake to absorb the shot of whisky this Rabbi had poured for me, than somebody yanked me out into the hallway to pray. I missed the bedekin while they were doing Kedusha.

And when they’re done with Mincha, then they start up with the Maarivs. “There’s a Maariv minyan in the hall.” “Did you daven Maariv yet?” “Stop the band! They’re davening Maariv!” “What again?” “I already davened Maariv! Twice!”

Last night the first dance set (and therefore, more importantly, my dinner) was delayed because the newly-married couple couldn’t get into the hall as they were being blocked by about 50 men in black hats trying to get in another Maariv minyan. Or maybe it was a late Mincha. I can’t tell anymore.

So what’s the deal with that? Is there some reason they can’t just work it into the service? Set aside 15 minutes so everyone can daven one time together? Instead of constantly clogging up the halls with large groups of men, who keep trying to push the waitresses out of the way and who are keeping the old ladies from getting to the bathrooms?

Is there some fear that if the men were allowed to spend time together not praying they might, Gd forbid, talk to one another??

Note: Mincha is the second prayer service of the day. Maariv is the third.

25 comments:

Prodly said...

So true. That's a hilareous observation!

AMSHINOVER said...

you know the arabs do this 5x a wedding with korim?

torontopearl said...

So...you were actually invited to an *entire wedding*, enough so that you could daven mincha and ma'ariv...?

*see my post entitled "R.S.V.P. ...not!"

callieischatty said...

One thing that surprises me about the services at our near by Orthodox temple is how the women carry on and talk at the top of their lungs during the service! And how when it gets really racous the old men glare and say SHHHH!!!!! and then it calms down for a couple minutes and then goes right back to the laughing talking and even getting up and joining in various conversations that are happening.

I had waaaaay more fun at that than at the Conversative services we normally go to....

It was most entertaining.

PsychoToddler said...

NOBODY tells the women what to do in OUR shul. Not even the Rabbi.

fudge said...

that's because they're all scared of mommy and bubbe.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PsychoToddler said...

Dear Anonymous:

BALEETED!

Jewish Blogmeister said...

I understand the importance of davening with a minyan but when my client is paying good money for us to play isn't a bit of a chutzpah for someone to suggest we stop? "Are you going to foot the bill?"I would love to say. I try to accomidate them but I usually sugest they daven somehwere else so we can continue playing. Some people are only thinking about themselves. If it's so imporant take care of it before you go to the wedding. Good Post!

PsychoToddler said...

Good point, JB (mind if I call you JB?)

I've also played gigs where we charge good money to play, and yet spend a lot of time sitting around during speeches and davening.

Now, it's one thing if the patron wants to waste his money by having my hourly players sitting around while he blabs, but it's quite another for some guests to tell us to stop playing.

Jewish Blogmeister said...

You can call me john john or you can call me.. ok but I'll call you PT (doesn't evryone?)

queeniesmom said...

great post, i'm laughing so hard that i'm crying. obviosly it doesn't matter if the wedding is in ny or chicago - the cast of characters is interchangable. this is one of my husband's pet peeves along with being hit up for money.

pays to be female at these times. although it would be nice if they didn't start yelling for all of us, women, to get out as soon as the huppah is over.

hopefully, they fed you before 10pm. rubber chicken at 11pm is so unappealing.

Mirty said...

"there’s one leaving every 20 minutes"

LOL

Wasn't a problem at my wedding, where the Orthodox were a minority and would have had a lot of 'splaining to do. ("Mincha? What's that? I don't believe we say that at Beth Suburbia.")

PsychoToddler said...

Queeniesmom: This time they asked the men to leave first. I always thought it was more polite for the ladies to go first.

Mirty: Beth Suburbia. I like that.

treppenwitz said...

Isn't maariv technically the 1st prayer service of the day? :-)

queeniesmom said...

under normal circumstances i would agree with you but the last few weddings we've been to they've been less than polite about asking us to leave. who knows maybe we were in the way of the 7:02 mincha minyan.

PsychoToddler said...

QM:

I can sorta kinda understand the desire to avoid having 300 men and 300 women trying to squish through a set of double doors at the same time. I don't personally agree with it, but I understand where it's coming from.

However, when you have that many people in one room, and you say something to the effect of "Ze vimmen are not to leave!" it sounds like they are prisoners.

I would have been happy to wait a while and let the women go out and powder their noses or whatever they do at that point.

TW:

Good point. So....technically I was there for two days, and I only got one rubber chicken.

Suburban Jersey Guy said...

A number of years ago at our Shul Dinner (chaired by my wife) after the "Ceremony" The MC (Chairperson) said " I'd like to ask ladies to please exit so that the men may daven maariv" or something to that effect.She was almost immediately subject to an earful on two counts...

1. maybe women would like to daven maariv as well and

2. there is no requirement that the women leave the room entirely for the tephilah to proceed as we were not in a Synagogue room and that as long as the sexes were seperated it was sufficient for the situation. We all learned something new that night....I'm not gonna force that on the Brooklyn gang but apparently that is the Halacha. Any Halachicists care to pipe in?

queeniesmom said...

"Ze vimmen vill leave. Ze minyon is starting" is definately how it would go down (can i say that in this context?) in brooklyn.

personally i just want out. can we go back to "more normal" weddings, please??? but that's another whole subject. oh well...

have a great shabbat all.

PsychoToddler said...

Suburban Jersey Guy (hey, do you daven at Beth Suburbia? Do you know Mirty?): I'm not a halachisissit. I'm not even sure that's a word. But I think your point is probably valid. When we daven at an airport, there are women around and we don't erect mechitzas. But maybe because we can't.

QM: I think you're right, it is another topic, but I'm with you on that. I'll invite you to our next wedding. I guarrantee that it will be very normal sans shtick. And if my future in-laws don't like it, they can kiss my--wait, that's the other post.

Batya said...

At least you're invited. You can always say no. But women who want to doven mincha have a harder problem finding a place.
http://me-ander.blogspot.com/2005/01/just-like-i-learned-in-kohelet.html#comments

Batya said...

At least you're invited. You can always say no. But women who want to doven mincha have a harder problem finding a place.
http://me-ander.blogspot.com/2005/01/just-like-i-learned-in-kohelet.html#comments

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

What i learned in both high school in NYC and yeshiva in Israel is that in an impromptu davening situation (hiking, bus ride, catering hall, hotel...) no mehhitza is necessary; all you need is a clear visual separation.

Also, i was at a wedding yesterday, where the groom requested that we daven minhha while him and the bride were in the yihhud room. As far as i know, that was the only mínyan that happened.

Ezzie said...

PT - I agree, what you've described is terrible. I just wanted to point out that at most weddings I have been at, everyone (or close to everyone) got together and davened at the same time - Mincha often after the Badekin and before the Chuppa, so nobody misses anything; and Ma'ariv after the Chuppa while the couple is taking pictures.
Then again, the weddings I've been at are usually a very mixed crowd - plenty of yeshivish, plenty not. Don't know if that would make a difference.

PsychoToddler said...

Batya: I have yet to see any women attempt to join up in these things.

Steg: I'm pretty sure that if you've got 10+ men in the Yichud room the Yichud is pretty much gone.

Ezzie: In my experience, the number of mincha minyans is proportional to the number of black hats at the affair. When there are 800 people there, and 50% are black hats (the other 50% being shaitels (wigs))...well, that's a lot of mincha. On the other hand, it may be a logistical issue. Either way I think it detracts from the simcha. The hosts and the caterers are trying to run a smooth and relatively enjoyable affair, and these guys are constantly hijacking it.