letters to the editor

Rabbi Hoffman:

If I may make you aware, this phenomenon does not just exist in shuls where the Rabbi delivers a drosho. I happen to daven in a large chasidishe shul with a wonderful and great Rebbe. Sometimes I and other people need to use the facilities during chazoras hasahatz and I have noticed a certain gentleman and his sons who are all dressed in full Chasidic garb making Kiddush on schnapps and cake etc. It could be understood if this was a one-time occurrence and they were in shul since the wee hours of the morning. But they arrive in shul when they are up to birchas Krias Shema and right away, they make kiddush. To enumerate all the mitzvos they are missing , not answering omein, missing kaddish sometimes even parts of Krias Hatorah is a real chilul Hashem  as if one is saying ‘these things are not important’ .

Where does this come from?  It is no wonder that many youth and even older people are just calling it quits on yiddishkeit. I agree 100 percent what Rabbi Weinrib said in 2004. I have a close friend who davens in a fine chasidishe shul where right after leining some prominent members go to a side room and make kiddush. He calls them “the alcoholic club.”  Not long ago I saw a clip about this and it is scary. You speak about Kovod Hatorah, what about Kovod Hamokom, Kovod Hamikdash, and above all “Kovod Atzmo,”  self respect.

Thank you, & keep up the good work, Hatzlocho rabbo.


Dear Rabbi Hoffman:

I enjoyed your article in 5tjt regarding the “Kiddush Club.” When I originally heard about it years ago, I couldn’t believe it, and it bothered me greatly. Thankfully, it does not take place in my shul.

I heard it takes place during the reading of the Haftorah. How strong is the chiyuv to first of all, stay and listen the Baal Maftir say the Haftorah, and secondly say the Haftorah with the Baal Maftir, even though it is not read from a klaf, but from a Chumash or Navi? I tried looking it up in the Mishna Berurah, but couldn’t find a definitive answer.

Bridgeport, CT



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