Wednesday, August 03, 2005

DovBear Gets it Wrong - Say Shema at 2 PM

I don't know how much of a crossover in readership Dov Bear and I have, but he is dead wrong about this Shema thing.

For those of you who don't know, there is a public Shema scheduled for today at 2 PM eastern. At that time, an estimated 20,000 people at the Kotel will say Shema, and ask God to A)Cancel disengagement, and B) If that isn't happening, to keep the jews safe and make this transition move smoothly.

DovBear considers this a vulgar attempt at magic.

But he is wrong. T'filla is one of the three things we mention on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur that is able to change the course of events. Sometimes it is an obvious change, other times it is more subtle. I don't think anyone is asking for lightning and thunder to come down from the skies and for the world to change in an instant.

It is just a T'filla to watch over the Jews who are caught up in Gaza, to protect them from harm, and to make this potentially disasterous disengagement policy move forward ina safe way.

At 2 PM eastern, 9 PM in Jerusalem, take ten seconds, and say the first line of Shema. That's all anyone is asking.


Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I find it silly that people focus solely on Israel and the East coast. There are large numbers in the Midwest and the West.

Out here it will be at 11 am.

August 03, 2005 12:28 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

You're right. First i wrote 11 AM on the left coast, but then i thought what about the people in Chicago who read this, and then i was going to add 1 PM.

But then I thought if you live in a different time zone, and you watch TV, you know what things are at different times. So I only kept my own time zone.

August 03, 2005 12:34 PM  
Blogger Chaim said...

Jack, Simple has all the times listed here:

I know what you mean, I'm not from NY originally, and NYers are very "Geo-Egotistic" (new word)

Air, I agree with you that DB is wrong, I think on his blog everything has to be some sort of giant controversy and declaration of rebellion. It's just Shema, come on, how hard is it just say it believe in something.

August 03, 2005 12:37 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

DovBear is wrong about a great many things. When did saying shema actually hurt anything? Can it make the situation worse? I mean, c'mon...

August 03, 2005 12:41 PM  
Blogger Chaim said...

What appeals to me about saying Shema is the universal and neutral position it holds. It's basic, simple and powerful. Many Jews throughout history recited shema in their final moments, that to me has always been powerful.

I don't think you can over-use, or mis-use Shema.

August 03, 2005 12:44 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

I think DB's point is "why shema?" It's not a bakasha.

August 03, 2005 12:54 PM  
Blogger Chaim said...

Because Shema is probably known as the most powerful Jewish verse we have. It's used in our Mezuzah's to shield us from harm, it's in out tefilin that we wear every day and it's something that was on the lips of millions of Jews as they died in concentration camps. Why NOT Shema?

August 03, 2005 1:00 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

shema is not a teffelah

August 03, 2005 1:04 PM  
Blogger Chaim said...

Amshi, what's the difference what you call it? If I stand on a mountain at my worst moments and scream out in pigladen "G-d Help me, I need your help, I don't know what else to do" that's a tefilah. You want to bring shulchan Orach, and Gemorah, and Mishna, and the Taz, and the Shach and sit over twenty seforim and stroke a beard and say ya know ... that's not actually a tefilah ... Like I said, I don't think in the concentration camps when they were screaming out Shema, they worried if it was classified as a "Tefilah" or not.

August 03, 2005 1:08 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

so say tehillim,daven or better DO TESHUVA, give tzedakah,fast

August 03, 2005 1:12 PM  
Blogger Chaim said...

Oy Amshi, you know, you could be a very funny guy, but sometimes, not everything is a joke.

August 03, 2005 1:14 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Shema is a simple declaration of belief in gods oneness. It is easy to say, even for the most unaffiliated jew, and speaks to the relationship between jews and god. There is no reason not to say it.

August 03, 2005 1:23 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

Krum - I think it would be great if Shema became a leaping off point for peopel whio felt that they needed to do more. But why should he not say shema? Just because he has been reading too much Harry Potter?

August 03, 2005 1:24 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

I think Amshi is being serious.

August 03, 2005 1:24 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

There is no reason not to say it.
-AT you know i love you guys,but you are wrong halcha doesn't agree with may not say shema with kavana whenever you want.and rubin i ain't joking

August 03, 2005 1:27 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

Please see my blog where Amshi and many others have posted (in the comment section) Torah sources that suggest this Shema idea is not halachic.

As Krum puts it: Shema is not a tefilla.

It isn't a bakasha. And it's not supposed to be used as if it was a magic spell. Tehillim would be better.

August 03, 2005 1:40 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

From what I can see, Krum said Shma was not BaKasha, it most certainly is part of t'filla. Remember, the first three Brachot in Shemoneh Esrai are not Bakasha either. But they are T'filla.

Sometimes we kiss up. And as I mentioned, it would be nice if people were to follow up Shema with some tehillim. But at the very least, they should say Shema.

August 03, 2005 1:49 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

If you want people to say SOMETHING let 'em say shema. We all know it and it just takes two seconds.

August 03, 2005 1:49 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

shema is not tefelah, its a mitzvah we must say 2x a day, like tzizis,the rabunim were mesaken that it go before shemona esrai,and gave it brachos.but it itself is not tefela

August 03, 2005 2:09 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

how would you define tfilla?

August 03, 2005 2:12 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

wrong do i define shema?right question.
how do you define berchas nehenen ie shehakol? or learning mishnios for a niftar?

August 03, 2005 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the perpetive of unity, it should have some impact.

August 03, 2005 2:34 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

I know how you define shema. I wanted to know how you define t'filla

August 03, 2005 2:36 PM  
Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

tephilah derived from the root Pe-Lamed-Lamed and the word l'hispalel,to judge self.The most important part of any Jewish prayer, whether it be a prayer of petition, of thanksgiving, of praise, or of confession, is the introspection it provides, the moment that we spend looking inside ourselves, seeing our role in the universe and our relationship to G-d.This is not kabbalas ol malchas shemayim.Also tefela is a service of the heart, not of the mouth Talmud Bavli, Ta'anis 2a unlike kabalas ol malchus a more lomdish vain,it is never listed halachicaly under tefilah

August 03, 2005 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 03, 2005 3:04 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

"The most important part of any Jewish prayer, whether it be a prayer of petition, of thanksgiving, of praise, or of confession, is the introspection it provides, the moment that we spend looking inside ourselves, seeing our role in the universe and our relationship to G-d."

Wouldnt you agree that this was the goal of the Shema moment?

August 03, 2005 3:10 PM  
Blogger Elisheva said...

Aren't we allowed to say Shema anytime as a declaration of faith?

August 03, 2005 5:13 PM  
Blogger Veev said...

Tefila reconnect us with the Boreh Olam whenever we want to. Saying Shema is not different than that. It's just the simple truth of our belief in Hashem, and of throwing ourselves at His mercy.

August 03, 2005 5:30 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Shema works well b/c almost all Jews know it by heart. Im pretty sure most reformed/conservative Jews do not know very much tehillem by heart.

August 03, 2005 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I know is,that I said Shema,and I even felt good about it.Is it wrong to say something that thousands and even tens of thousands of jews are saying worldwide?I felt great knowing that when I was saying it,I was united in one cause with all those other jews at the same time.I was feeling VERY spiritual.

August 03, 2005 6:41 PM  
Blogger DovBear said...

Having a "nice feeling" is not the same as "feeling spiritual" and Jewish decisions aren't made by what feels nice, but by what is right.

The fact that saying shma made you smile is no proof that it was the right thing to do per, the halacha.

August 04, 2005 11:15 AM  
Blogger Veev said...

But it didn't hurt, either.

August 04, 2005 11:37 AM  
Blogger 2R said...

Just wanted all ya'll to know, just got back from Ofakim where the latest protests are being held, and last night at 9pm in the middle of our rally we stopped and said Shema and no one knew why. Now I know :)

August 04, 2005 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the whole orange endeavor is a colossal waste of time. it is a done deal, that ship has sailed. its all over except for the shouting.
lets move along, people!

August 05, 2005 2:57 AM  
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