web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Saloons with Prayer Services

f110911ns51

Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

To come to the Beit HaMikdash for the purpose of eating and drinking? For that the prophet admonished us in the harshest terms: “Who asked you to come and trample My courtyards?” (Yeshayahu 1:12). Indeed, who asked them to come? Apparently, God does not want them there – even for kiruv purposes, even to put bodies in seats, even to attract attention in newspapers. For the end result of such an edifice is churban – destruction. The building does not last, because it does not deserve to last.

King Shlomo stated (Mishlei 15:8) that “the offering of the wicked is an abomination to God,” and the Vilna Gaon commented here that “offering” means shelamim, the peace-offering that is purely voluntary and not at all for atonement – and yet it is still an abomination to God. But “His desire is the prayer of the upright.” He continued (ibid 15:16): “Even a little done with fear of God is better than a great abundance acquired with turmoil and commotion.” That is as true in life as it is for shuls and places of holiness. Quality matters more than quantity.

It is easy to build a shul: it is infinitely more difficult is to do it for the sake of Heaven, to serve only God and not man. That is much more complicated. Indeed, all shuls wrestle with the dilemma Professor Sarna highlighted – how to strike a balance between the people who come to shul to talk to God and the people who come to see their friends; between those who see the shul as a place to daven and learn Torah and those who see it as a social environment in which davening and learning are just two of several possible functions and activities.

The body finds its sustenance out there in the world, but the soul finds its enrichment in the places designated for holiness. That is the uniqueness of a shul that is easily lost amid the cacophony of clinking glasses.

We drive away the divine presence when we sully His holy places and transform them into saloons that host prayer services. But we gain eternity and sanctity, and with it the spread of His presence, by focusing on true service of God and surrender to His will.

About the Author: Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun of Teaneck, New Jersey, and author, most recently, of “Tzadka Mimeni: The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility” (Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem, 2014). His writings and lectures can be found at www.Rabbipruzansky.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Saloons with Prayer Services”

  1. Gloria Wolff says:

    Excellent response to N Y Times biased article.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Vienna.
Iran Deal to Miss Fifth Deadline
Latest Indepth Stories
Terms of Surrender

Dear Pres. Obama, A “deal” in which one side makes all the concessions is, of course, a “surrender.”

Michael Oren, Israel's Former Ambassador to the United States

ALLY is a terrific read because Oren has a mission: Defending&protecting the Jewish State of Israel.

George Soros: No friend of Israel

George Soros: “European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States”

President Obama

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

More Articles from Rabbi Steven Pruzansky
Pruzansky-Steven-NEW

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

The brilliance of Yaakov’s approach – and by extension, any type of individual or group effort – is that it appealed to three different modes of salvation.

There is a certain unwordliness to the pope’s call for a two-state solution, an obliviousness to the reality on the ground.

One can’t only take; one must give as well. Giving – not taking – is the essence of the righteous person.

Much of what we know about 19th century Orthodoxy is false, including the provenance of the term Orthodox.

A president who today used the language of FDR or JFK would be derided. If he were a candidate, the media elites would bury his chances of winning the election. He would be a laughing stock to the aimless young people whose uninformed opinions on public affairs seem to matter more than they should.

With the constant drumbeat of articles about “Orthodox” female rabbis appearing in the media almost weekly – essentially the same articles making the same points to the same eager audience, all to make the phenomenon of such “rabbis” seem commonplace – it is important to take a step back and examine how we arrived at this destination.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/saloons-with-prayer-services/2013/03/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: