Praise God On Your Own Time, Buster!

I sometimes go to an Ashkenaz minyan in the evening where this Sephardi guy always insists on yelling out, "Barchu et Adonai Hamvorak!" at the end of Ma’ariv (and by reflex the rest of us respond, "Baruch Adonai Hamvorak l’olam vaed" and bow to the East.)

I understand this is a custom for Jews who arrive late and miss the Barchu. But I think it is obnoxious for this non-member to yell out "Barchu!" at every end of our Ashkenazi ma’ariv minyan when he is not a latecomer.

It’s happened to me about 100 times now. I’ve developed back pain from this extra bowing and in the time it has taken from me, I could’ve self-published another unwanted book about my feelings.

What say you? I don’t know much about these matters.

I guess you can never have too much diversity (what a healthier attitude than invoking Charles Murray to cast aspersions on the intelligence of Sephardim).

Al writes:

Us sefardis, say barkhu "before" aleinu leshabeach shachrit and maariv (not mincha). not after the prayer. In the Ashkenaz synagogue (litvish) where i pray, no barkhu is said before, no barkhu after and nobody yelling. I prayed however preiously for many years @ a nusach sfard minyan (read ashkenazi chassidish) where an ancient czek jewish man -long since deceased, z’l- always ended the service yelling barkhu as you describe. in fact he acted upset that nobody said that before he "was obliged" to yell and with reproach. The person whom you describe, could be an israeli ashkenazi savage (they are brought up with havara sfaradit and sound like sefardis to the untrained ear) or a sefardi idiot with ego problem (often israelis too) trying to teach ashkenazim how to run their service.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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