web analytics
December 2, 2016 / 2 Kislev, 5777
InDepth
Sponsored Post
The Migdal Ohr Mishpachton MISHPACHTONIM – Israel’s Children are Your Children.

Support Migdal Ohr by purchasing letters in the Torah Scroll that will be written in honor of Rabbi Grossman’s 70th Birthday.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Saloons with Prayer Services


Printer-Ready Page Layout
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.

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky

About the Author: Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is a pulpit rabbi in Teaneck, New Jersey, and the author of “Tzadka Mimeni: The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility” (Gefen Publishing).


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.


Loading Facebook Comments ...



Imported and Older Comments:

  1. Gloria Wolff says:

    Excellent response to N Y Times biased article.


Current Top Story
Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein
T’shuva Movement Pioneer Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein Dead at 82

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: