Banging on the Bimah

Bang, bang, bang.

I’m afraid this post will just be understood by Orthodox Jews. Does this ever happen in a Conservative, Reform or Reconstructionist shul? The rest of the planet are welcome to say, hmm, interesting custom here.

What does banging on the Bimah mean in your shul? Or banging on the side of a bench to get others’ attention? I thought it meant Don’t Forget Ya’aleh V’Yavoh on Rosh Hodesh or Don’t Forget to Say some Special Shmone Esrei. My relative said in the shul we attended last Friday night it meant Hurray Up Because I Attended This Minyan So It Should Move Along Quickly Because I Have More Important Things to Do At Home.

Your thoughts?

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10 thoughts on “Banging on the Bimah

  • I’ve seen, or should I write heard, it meaning “be quiet everyone”. It was in an Orthodox shul however.
    In the Masorti shul I sometimes attend, people are usually quiet and focused.

  • I thought it meant Don’t Forget Ya’aleh V’Yavoh on Rosh Hodesh or Don’t Forget to Say some Special Shmone Esrei.
    This is what it means in our shul.

    Shabbat Shalom, and enjoy your chametz!

  • I’ve been feeling sorry for myself thinking ours was the only horribly noisy shul – not that’s it’s comforting to know Jews are noisy in other places, but at least I don’t have to move to a new neighborhood so quickly :>)

    I like my house, just not the shul – and it’s the only one here.

  • The first bang is to remind the other members of the congregation to bang on their shtenders/tables. The second bang is to remind people to add some seasonal portion to the prayer, usually yaaleh v’yavoh. In some shuls, [sarcasm] helpful [/sarcasm] members will go from saying the prayer quietly (as is halachically correct) to saying the first few words of the addition at normal speaking level or above as an additional reminder.

  • The shul we were in was quite quiet, so I don’t think the banging was “be quiet.” Hmmm. I think Mottel’s “the chazon is taking forever” was probably the intent here. Even if it was only Friday night after a two day chag and not Rosh Hashana.

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