Wednesday, March 30, 2011


A few weeks back I authored a post about outdoor prayer. As I think I made clear, my preference is to remain indoors for all of the reasons that I mentioned. I also find it stifling to davenin in an enclosed stuffy location. In fact, there is a custom of at least building btei kenset (synagogues) with windows. This morning I believe that I came to the realization that a hybrid option could be preferable.

Today was the first day that the morning air was warm enough to allow for the Pardes windows to be opened during shacharit. The still sparse traffic was not terribly noisy, and the breeze was gentle enough to get the air in the room moving. I went on to have a very meaningful davening, that stuck with me for the duration of the day.

What's the point here? Environmental sensitivity can have an incredible impact on our prayers.


Anonymous said...

It's not a custom. According to the Baybylonian Talmud (BT Berakhot 31a) windows in synaogues are a necessity. On a side note: the lack of air flow might be the source of curious stories that feature sheidim (Jewish demons/animistic spirits) often congregating in shuls and shteibeles.

Anonymous said...

While I very much agree that outdoor davening can be terribly distracting, there is something about a breeze that can make my prayer much more spiritual. Davening can definitely become stifling at times and open windows that allow for fresh air and a cool breeze really remind me of what my intention should be at its best.

Daniel said...

Thank you for the comments!