Sunday, July 18, 2010
Top Secret Rules?
Every Shabbos, or even when I'm out with friends, I've noticed something: I take lightyears longer than every other Jew on the planet to bensch. Now, I read my Hebrew really quick, but I read it all. I've noticed people flipping pages faster than Forrest Gump running cross-country.
Am I missing something? Am I not privy to the top secret rule that there really are parts you don't need to read? Am I wasting my time going through the entire series of prayers? What am I missing? Is there a set of rules on what is "required" and what isn't?
(Note: I also wonder this about prayers in synagogue, too, as sometimes I find myself ahead of people in the Shemonai Esrei and then suddenly they're done and I'm like "wah!?")
(Second Note: I've always wondered where the word bensch comes from, and I always assumed it was Yiddish. Turns out it is Yiddish, but it derives from Latin, not German or Hebrew. How bizarre! It means to bless or make a bracha, but generally it's used when referring to saying the Birkat HaMazon, or blessing after meals.)