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Author:  Arnie Williamson
E-mail:  not available
Date:  8/18/2003 1:36:00 PM
Subject:  Shabbat Davening
Message:  Rabbi Abadi

Your reply to Yoilee was right on the money! Who has the patients to say the entire davening these days with our hectic schedules. But I have a further question. On shabbat, there are just too may prayers in the davening. Our morning shabbat minyam last for 3 long hours. Can I say just a few chapters from the siddur, the shema, shemone esrai, and listen to the torah and fulful my prayer obligations?

Reply:  You are right about the length of the Shabbat prayers. It seems that it evolved into this because the men never have time to be together socially. Unfortunately, the Chumra (extra restriction) of praying so long turns into a sin of people speaking during the reading of the Torah and most of the prayers. Some get into such a deep conversation that goes on until they look up and it's over, oblivious of the others around them praying. Sometimes I feel like bringing a few six-packs and a cable TV, and setting it up in a back room so that they can watch the ball game and hopefully we can pray in peace.
The extra Tehillim said before Baruch She'Amar or for some it's after, can be skipped. It is more important to say Karbanot, which is also not a requirement. You know yourself. Don't be too tough on yourself. Make a deal with yourself. Say just Berachot, Baruch She'Amar, Ashrei, Nishmat, and Yishtabach. Then Birchot Kriat Shema and Shema, and then Shemoneh Esrey/Amida. You should do the best you can to listen to the entire reading of the Torah, but make sure you go to a Shul with a Kosher Torah, and a person who reads it that pronounces the words Ok, and doesn't swallow them. Otherwise it wasn't worth sitting through. If it's hard to sit through a full Torah reading, then sneak out before they take out the Torah, and make a little Kiddush, and come back in for the second half. But no talking inside. Mussaf of course, is a requirement and then Aleinu.
Now, I am not negating all the rest. I'm just being realistic. Whoever can say everything with proper relaxation, concentration, and alertness, should continue saying it all. It's the other 99% that I'm refering to.

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