Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting bored; playing with iPhone

Lately I have to admit I'm been getting pretty bored at davening. My prayers and kaddishes are flat.  When I'm leading prayers, which I still do most mornings, I have to be somewhat engaged.  But for the afternoon and evening prayers, there are about four mourners at minyan these days, so I'm only called to daven about once every couple of days.  When I'm seated among the other congregants, it's difficult to engage when the Amidah (silent prayer) is being repeated during Mincha by the prayer leader or during the Rabbi's short d'var torah (words of Torah) between Mincha and Ma'ariv.  Often I resort to pulling out my iphone and checking my email, making changes to my Things To Do list, or even going on Facebook.  Believe me, I'm not the only one playing with their smart phone during the prayer service.  A few months ago I was at a minyan where a gentleman seemed to be praying quite fervently.  As soon as he finished his prayer, the smart phone came out and he was tapping away. While I try to make sure that sounds are turned off, phones are not infrequently chiming or ringing during the service.

Tonight I was so spaced out that I couldn't even remember what the Rabbi said when he recited Sephirat Ha'omer (the count of days between Passover and Shavuot).  I was pretty sure he said that tonight was the 20th day, but just to make sure, I asked the person next to me what he said.  That person said that yesterday was the 19th day, indicating that tonight is the 20th day.  He said he couldn't tell me which day it was tonight because he doesn't count until after nightfall, but fortunately I can still add 19 and 1. I can honestly say I haven't missed a prayer service in a while, but that statement is true only about my physical presence.

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