The Other Side of the Story - Phoney Prayer

Become a Supporter Library Library

The Other Side of the Story - Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt


About 10 years ago I was visiting my old country. I was in my brother's area when it was time to daven ma'ariv (pray the evening service). I went into one of the well known shteibels (small synagogues) and stood at the back. At the end of the davening, the Chassidic man to my left recited kaddish (sanctification prayer). In the middle, the person next to him got a phone call on his cellular phone. Not only did he answer it, but he turned to the man saying kaddish and said: "Shssh, I can't hear."

I lived off this story, telling it every time the subject of talking during prayer came up. I told it in order to ridicule the people of that shtiebel, to illustrate their improper attitude toward prayer.

About three months ago, I told it to my brother. He said, "Oh, that must have been Moshe Poloni (name changed). He's from Hatzalah, the Jewish emergency and ambulance service, and his Rabbi said he's not allowed to come to ma'ariv unless he brings his phone with him and answers it instantly, no matter where he is in the davening.

(Submitted by an Ohrnet reader)

The Other Side of the Story Archives

Based on "The Other Side of the Story" by Mrs. Yehudis Samet, ArtScroll Series

Do you have a story to share?

Were you in a situation where there was the potential to misjudge a person, but there really was a valid explanation? Has a friend or a relative ever told you how they were in such a situation?

Share you stories with us for inclusion in future columns of The Other Side of the Story.

To submit your story, send it to [email protected]. (To insure proper handling, put "Other Side" in the subject line of your message).

Subscribe to The Other Side of the Story via PointCast

The Ohr Somayach Home Page is hosted by TeamGenesis
vj_bar.gif (1798 bytes)

Copyright © 2000 Ohr Somayach International. Send us feedback.
Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.