I am a Yid. I like to rock. Veitur!

- [ Thursday, June 10, 2004 ] -
K'dushah Concert
K'dushah (a part of the cantor's repetition of the shmoneh esrei) during services on Shabbat morning is not the time for a concert.

I've heard some very beautiful k'dushahs, led by great chazzanim. There is a lot of room in the davening for song. k'dushah is among the peaks of concentration and participation in for the congregation during the prayer service. All within hearing distance must stand with their feet together. All other private and personal prayer is temporarily ceased. Any conversation is strictly forbidden. All eyes should be in the siddur or closed.

K'dushah, in cantorial circles, has become the Superbowl halftime show
. Except the audience has to stand in place, with their feet together, concentrating on the holiness of the moment without talking for the duration.

There is a concept in halacha (Jewish law) called, "tirchah l'tzibur" - "labor to the congregation." It's in the Shulchan Aruch ("whoever lengthens their t'filah doesn't doesn't do a good thing because of torach hatzibbur" Orach Chayim, 53:11) and the Talmud (When Rabbi Akiva would daven with the tzibbur, he would make it short because of torach hatzibbur. When he would daven alone, people would find him in one place at the beginning and another place at the end because of all the bowings. Brachot 31a). Basically, the temperament and patience of the congregation is something to take very seriously.

There is never an excuse for an eleven minute k'dushah. Especially from a guest chazzan at my congregation with no competing Orthodox services that day for several miles. A chazzan should lead, not perform. Members shouldn't have to be forced to spend Shabbat away from their homes in order to avoid this type of thing.

It's a common sense issue. My friend, Rabbi Josh Yuter, told me, "there is a difference between davening being long and davening feeling long."

Thanks to Reb Yuter for the halachic sources and slick quote.

UPDATE (6/15/04): I want to make things a little more clear. The only Orthodox shacharit minyan in the neighborhood was hijacked by a cantorial-fan with money and our wonderful board of directors with full support of the Rabbi. There is no early minyan at my shul. No alternative minyan at my shul. A breakaway minyan was attempted for mussaf and thoroughly quashed by "The Man" like a weak rebellion. There is no Orthodox shul within miles.