Audio Roundup 2017:39

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by Joel Rich

I note the following practices at a chareidi shul in RBS which has multiple minyanim: At the appointed starting time for each minyan, there is often not a “volunteer” to lead the services. The amount of time that it takes to start varies as everyone looks at each other trying to influence someone to start. If there is a young bar mitzvah boy, he is often sent for mincha/maariv.

I’m not sure what the community thinking is, perhaps humility to avoid the amud, but I’m struck by the amount of bittul torah caused and wonder how this trade-off was decided upon. I also wonder about why the practice of sending youngsters up developed given the S”A’s psak concerning the priorities for a chazzan. Thoughts?

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I’d like to Trademark “All hat, no Torah” (HT—the old Texas adage “All hat, no cattle”).
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Please direct any informal comments to [email protected].

About Joel Rich

Joel Rich is a frequent wannabee cyberspace lecturer on various Torah topics. A Yerushalmi formerly temporarily living in West Orange, NJ, his former employer and the Social Security administration support his Torah listening habits. He is a recovering consulting actuary.


  1. Re Joel Rich’s comment on sheliach zibbur priorities: Once one when gets beyond Shulchan Aruch priorities, when I’ve been a gabbi I’ve found that beyond chiyuvim there are moral obligations. Just as there is an obligation for the tzibbur to have a shiva minyan in a house of a deceased from whom no one is sitting shiva, there is an obligation on klal Israel to say kaddish for a niftar if no one is required to say it. Usually, klal Israel’s obligation is met by someone who has a bigger obligation of hakaros hatov -eg son-in-law.

    When I was in aveilus for my mother beyond shloshim, many times I told parents who were saying Kaddish for a child with no one else saying kaddish for the child to take the amud. I was mochel Shulchan Aruch priorities.

  2. I was thinking about giving the amud to an average bar mitzvah aged boy vs. an older talmid chacham when no one is a “chiyuv”

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