So today, I went to synagogue for Shabbat.
I sat by one of my friends and in between some prayers was catching up with him from the week.
Okay, I know that I shouldn't be talking (so much) in shule, but it is an important way for me to connect with other Jewish people and community.
Then all of a sudden, another person says to me without any warning, "Shut up!"
At first, I thought it was a joke, then he says it again with a serious face, and I was so embarrassed.
And only partially for me, but maybe even more for him.
What type of person uses that type of language to someone and in synagogue.
He didn't say, can you keep it down or let's focus on our prayers or something human and kind.
Instead, he talked to me like an animal and I couldn't believe it and tonight is Tisha B'Av, when Hashem twice destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem (in part it is said because of hatred of Jew against Jew).
It reminded me of how I saw some horrible videos on Facebook this week of Chasidim from Neturei Karta and Satmar protesting against Israel and their fellow Jewish people...what a complete sickness to wish evil and destruction against your own brothers and sisters, rather than helping them to build and grow a beautiful state in service to G-d and a light unto nations.
In synagogue today, while I was silent before this person's horrible words of rebuke, my friend said to him, "This is how you talk? You say shut up [and in shul]!"
I appreciated that he said something, and the other guy actually apologized then.
I hope Hashem can forgive me for talking in shule and the people who treat each other badly.
I am sad at how twisted religion has gotten to some, and know this is not the way it is supposed to be. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)