Posted on | January 3, 2008 | By Mark Frankel | 10 Comments
In the moments that we aspire to take our davening seriously, we are often confronted with the fact that davening with a minyan requires compromises as to the speed of the davening.
What is perplexing is that the davening seems to speed up in the wrong places. Brachos are said at a relatively slow pace, then things pick up some speed in Pesukei D’Zimra and then between Borechu and the start of Shomeneh Esrai the speeds sometimes approach that of the Japanese Bullet trains.
It’s clearly the work of the Yetzer Hora as he wants us to go fast as we enter Shema and Shomoneh Esrai, so that we don’t have the piece of mind to even attempt to say the six words of the Shema and the first paragraph of Shomoneh Esrai with kavanna.
If you try to expand the time of your minyan you’re usually fighting a losing battle as people have to get to work and are generally on tight schedules. So let me propose instead trying to institute the 7 minute solution. Try to establish that between Borechu and the start of Shomoneh Esrai there is 7 minutes of elapsed time. That will enable you to say the words at a reasonably slow enough pace to have the piece of mind to pause for a few seconds before Shema and Shomoneh Esrai to catch some kavanna.
Your minyan is probably taking between 5-6 minutes for that stretch now so you only have to reallocate 1-2 minutes from the other parts of davening. If you want to davening Berachos and Pesukei D’Zimra slower you can get to shul earlier. And you can daven Shomoneh Esrai as slow as you want and use Shomeah K’onah to listen quietly to the Sheliach Tzibbur to fulfill your Kedusha requirements. You can also try to institute the 7 minute solution at Maariv when there is a little less time pressure.
Talk to your Rav or Gabbai and see if you can convince them that this makes sense. Let us know if you meet any success.