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Is Silence Always Golden?

Child says to usher at the entrance to shul on Yom Kippur "I want to call my father out to tell him something." The usher replies "Where is your ticket?"

"I don't have one."

"So you can't go in."

"Please! Just for a minute to get my dad."

"OK! But don't let me catch you praying."

Is there a biblical mitzva to daven? You guessed it [unless you already knew]. Disagreement. The Rambam says that there is and the Ramban contends that there isn't [of course midirabanan there is a mitzva]. However even the Ramban agrees that if one is in distress ["ais tzara"] then there is a biblical mitzva to daven [hasagos to the sefer hamitzvos mitzva 5].

In this weeks parsha the Jews are being pursued by the Egyptians and they are told by Moshe to remain silent [14/14]. I don't get it. This is no time to remain silent. This is the ideal time to pray! Being pursued by an army of bloodthirsty Arabs can definitely be considered a time of distress. So why does Moshe tell them to remain silent?

We must answer this question. We must not remain silent!

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Segula - 40 days at the Kotel

About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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