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Jerusalem - Rabbi Vozner: Cure for Cancer, Don't Speak During Tefilla!

Published on: June 24, 2009 11:16 AM
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Jerusalem - At a Rosh Chodesh event held in Ashdod at the Shevet Halevi community in Ashdod, Rav Avraham Eliezer Vozner, the grandson of the Shevet Halevi, spoke about the increased incidence of people who had come down with “yenem machla.”

He related that his grandfather had recently told him of 10 people who had come down with the machla from his own community. He then asked his grandfather, “Until when will the Satan cause tragedies among us? Doesn’t it say that ‘the tzadik decrees and Hakodesh Baruch Hu fulfills’?”

“My grandfather told me, ‘How can one give blessings when there is interferences?’ When I asked him what was interfering, he told me, ‘When someone talks on the telephone and in the middle of the conversation, the reception fails—the conversation goes dead. It’s the same thing with prayer. The conversation is cut off.

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“My grandfather explained, ‘Prayers are not acceptable to Hashem if one talks in the middle of prayer. When the mispalelim stop talking in the middle of prayers, then the disease will also stop.” Rav Vozner then read a letter from his grandfather asking the public to strengthen themselves particularly in the area of not speaking devorim beteilim during prayers and upholding the sanctity of a shul.

In the Shevet Halevi community in Jerusalem, the avreichim had all the mispalelim sign—including themselves—that they would not talk during prayers whether in the beis midrash or any other place they davened. The Shevet Halevi expressed his satisfaction when he heard of the initiative.

The Rosh Chodesh event was attended by Rav Chaim Vozner, the son of the Shevet Halevi; Rav Yaakov Landau, the head of the kolel; Rav Alter Yitzchak Rabinowitz, a rosh mesivta in the Czernobyl yeshiva; and Rav Aaron Zev Cheshin, a moreh tzedek in Ashdod.

The main speech was held by Rav Chaim Vozner, who spoke about the importance of holding such get-togethers frequently to discuss topics of chinuch bonim, and other vital issues like the importance of using kosher cellphones and other screened media devices.


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Read Comments (28)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 24, 2009 at 10:54 AM Anonymous Says:

everyone should try to take this one thing apon themselves.

2

 Jun 24, 2009 at 11:21 AM shmilu Says:

it would be nice but in reality its uninforcible people will always sneak in a word or chat

3

 Jun 24, 2009 at 10:56 AM David Says:

Apparently, my grandfather must have talked during davening. Maybe it was when he was asking whether people were kohanim or leviim (he was the gabbai of his shul). I knew that his cancer was all his own fault!

I wouldn’t tell insurance companies about this insight. They might start to classify “talking during davening” as a preexisting condition and start denying payments for chemotherapy.

Why is it that whenever there is an explanation given for a tragedy, it is always because we are violating/need to improve mitzvos bein adam l’makom? Why doesn’t anyone talk about the need to nicer to others and increase our acts of kindness towards our fellow man?

4

 Jun 24, 2009 at 10:50 AM Eli Says:

This is all very nice. But reality is, that some people are genetically predisposed to this disease. This is just a ploy to make people feel guilty about something they cant control. If not talking in the middle of davening were the cure all, believe me, no one would ever talk!

Life sucks! Enjoy it any way you can!

5

 Jun 24, 2009 at 11:28 AM The advice is good but . . . Says:

Whilst the advice is excellent, with the greatest respect to these gedolim, I do not think stating that this or that illness correlates to particular aveiros is helpful or, indeed, necessarily true.

In the end we will all leave this world, hopefully to a everlasting bliss. Very few people pass away just like that at some great age without any signs of brain deterioration or major bodily dysfunctions - it does happen but it is not usual. We have to die of something!

This reminds me of the story of the Malach HaMoves - when created he complained that everyone will hate him because of the work he does. HaShem informed him that he shouldn't worry as no one will ever blame him. People will blame a heart attack, stroke, etc., etc.

It really boils down to statistics and medical advances - the longer the population lives with heart disease being something that can often be treated, the more we will see what used to be the second biggest (slow) killer - yenem machla. And unlike quick killers such as heart attacks or strokes (where we soon forget the niftar), yenem machla results in diagnosis, treatment, survival and maybe, with HaShem's blessings, cure.

Thus particularly with yenem machla, we become aware of a victim, their progress and survival - and the better their response to treatment means - ever more people surviving who would, in the past, succumbed early on.

Many people I know do not talk in shul (I am makpid), but I do not believe for one moment they or I will be immune to the disease should this be the Heavenly decision. It is not for us to decide the whys and wherefores of HaShem's ways or plans.

6

 Jun 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM yes we can Says:

thanx vin for this news

7

 Jun 24, 2009 at 11:24 AM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Shtika b'shas tefillah is a requirement not a segula. we keep silent because we're supposed to. Only G-d knows who will develop what disease R'L. If you keep silent during tefillah only because you don't want to get cancer, you may be dissapointed.
Also, there is no objective evidence that cancer is more prevalent now than it was in years past. adderabbah, the American Cancer Society has recently announced that deaths from cancer in the U.S. have actually declined over the past five years.

Incidentally, why do we need to use euphemisms like "yenne machleh" or "the dreaded disease" when we talk about cancer. Do we think if we don't say the word, we won't get it? Diabetes cripples and kills as many Jewish people as cancer, primarily through diabetic heart disease, but we don't call diabetes "yenne machleh".

The main point is, DON'T TALK DURING DAVENING. Don't worry about what you may or may not get.

8

 Jun 24, 2009 at 10:46 AM Duvid Says:

Not talking during Davening is also a Segulah for Parnoseh.
Rabbi's allways say that in shuls were there was no talking during davening the people in these shuls were very succesful men.
Its a shame to see & hear cell phone ringing during davening.
People should close their cellphones during davening & we will have Refyois & yeshuois & alot of good Mazal.

9

 Jun 24, 2009 at 11:47 AM HaLeiVi Says:

Reply to #4  
Eli Says:

This is all very nice. But reality is, that some people are genetically predisposed to this disease. This is just a ploy to make people feel guilty about something they cant control. If not talking in the middle of davening were the cure all, believe me, no one would ever talk!

Life sucks! Enjoy it any way you can!

And if not smoking would decrease your chance of getting lung cancer than everybody would stop smoking.
Well guess what; some people do stupid things and some post stupid things.

10

 Jun 24, 2009 at 11:42 AM HaLeiVi Says:

Reply to #4  
Eli Says:

This is all very nice. But reality is, that some people are genetically predisposed to this disease. This is just a ploy to make people feel guilty about something they cant control. If not talking in the middle of davening were the cure all, believe me, no one would ever talk!

Life sucks! Enjoy it any way you can!

Your signature describes your actual Hashkafa better than your whole posting.

11

 Jun 24, 2009 at 12:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Its is no wonder that today kids are more susceptible to go OTD when they here this type explanation for diseases

12

 Jun 24, 2009 at 12:45 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
David Says:

Apparently, my grandfather must have talked during davening. Maybe it was when he was asking whether people were kohanim or leviim (he was the gabbai of his shul). I knew that his cancer was all his own fault!

I wouldn’t tell insurance companies about this insight. They might start to classify “talking during davening” as a preexisting condition and start denying payments for chemotherapy.

Why is it that whenever there is an explanation given for a tragedy, it is always because we are violating/need to improve mitzvos bein adam l’makom? Why doesn’t anyone talk about the need to nicer to others and increase our acts of kindness towards our fellow man?

very good answer , speaking during davening has been attributed to the Chorbin in Europe and 6 million karbones including small children 1 million and now to the etiology of cancer , how about the neturei karta sitting down with Mussolini's granddaughter and cursing yidden what kind of machla does this cause

13

 Jun 24, 2009 at 12:39 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #8  
Duvid Says:

Not talking during Davening is also a Segulah for Parnoseh.
Rabbi's allways say that in shuls were there was no talking during davening the people in these shuls were very succesful men.
Its a shame to see & hear cell phone ringing during davening.
People should close their cellphones during davening & we will have Refyois & yeshuois & alot of good Mazal.

Don't talk during davening! Turn off your cell phone during davening! you wan't a segulah for parnassa? Work hard, be honest, give ma'aser, and daven! Don't be afraid to come right out and ask HaShem what you want. No segulah involved.

14

 Jun 24, 2009 at 12:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
David Says:

Apparently, my grandfather must have talked during davening. Maybe it was when he was asking whether people were kohanim or leviim (he was the gabbai of his shul). I knew that his cancer was all his own fault!

I wouldn’t tell insurance companies about this insight. They might start to classify “talking during davening” as a preexisting condition and start denying payments for chemotherapy.

Why is it that whenever there is an explanation given for a tragedy, it is always because we are violating/need to improve mitzvos bein adam l’makom? Why doesn’t anyone talk about the need to nicer to others and increase our acts of kindness towards our fellow man?

It is an act of kindness to your fellow Jew not to speak in shul. This way you are not disturbing them while they are davening. You are actually giving them a better chance of having their tefilos answered. You are helping them to connect to Hashem.
That is the most powerful act of kindness that you can do to your fellow Jew.

May Hashem grant you all of your hearts desires and may you desire all of Hashems's desires.

15

 Jun 24, 2009 at 04:07 PM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

It is an act of kindness to your fellow Jew not to speak in shul. This way you are not disturbing them while they are davening. You are actually giving them a better chance of having their tefilos answered. You are helping them to connect to Hashem.
That is the most powerful act of kindness that you can do to your fellow Jew.

May Hashem grant you all of your hearts desires and may you desire all of Hashems's desires.

While your point is well taken, I don't think that that's what #3 was talking about. Why are perronios for Jews alway blamed on talking in shul or tznius issues or bittul Torah. Why aren't they also blamed on sharp business practices, or on discourtesy or lashon harah. The funny thing is that we have historical proof that lapses in bein adam l'chaveiro cause disaster for Jews, from Churban Bayis Sheini to Rebbi Akiva's talmidim. We also know that tzedaka tatzil m'maves.
Yes, talking in shul is wrong but preniciously prevalent. Tircha d'tzibura, for instance, is equally prevalent in shuls and at least equally wrong. We know it's a big deal because we risk damage and bizui to sifrei Torah because of just that, tircha d'tzibura. Why don't we say that we can avoid perronios by not schlepping the davening? Plus, it's easier to keep quite if you don't have to keep quit for as long.

16

 Jun 24, 2009 at 03:59 PM anonymous Says:

I would like an explanation regarding the increase of neuroblastomas and gliomas in children . Are they stricken with cancer because of speaking during davening

17

 Jun 24, 2009 at 04:41 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
David Says:

Apparently, my grandfather must have talked during davening. Maybe it was when he was asking whether people were kohanim or leviim (he was the gabbai of his shul). I knew that his cancer was all his own fault!

I wouldn’t tell insurance companies about this insight. They might start to classify “talking during davening” as a preexisting condition and start denying payments for chemotherapy.

Why is it that whenever there is an explanation given for a tragedy, it is always because we are violating/need to improve mitzvos bein adam l’makom? Why doesn’t anyone talk about the need to nicer to others and increase our acts of kindness towards our fellow man?

Bein adam l'chavero is more difficult and you must concur your yetzer hora. Telling someone not to talk is a lot easier

18

 Jun 24, 2009 at 04:38 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

While your point is well taken, I don't think that that's what #3 was talking about. Why are perronios for Jews alway blamed on talking in shul or tznius issues or bittul Torah. Why aren't they also blamed on sharp business practices, or on discourtesy or lashon harah. The funny thing is that we have historical proof that lapses in bein adam l'chaveiro cause disaster for Jews, from Churban Bayis Sheini to Rebbi Akiva's talmidim. We also know that tzedaka tatzil m'maves.
Yes, talking in shul is wrong but preniciously prevalent. Tircha d'tzibura, for instance, is equally prevalent in shuls and at least equally wrong. We know it's a big deal because we risk damage and bizui to sifrei Torah because of just that, tircha d'tzibura. Why don't we say that we can avoid perronios by not schlepping the davening? Plus, it's easier to keep quite if you don't have to keep quit for as long.

As a child I davened[my father took me] in the Belzer Klaus. Belzer chasdiim don't sing too much and you are right if you daven with kevunah without shlepping you don't have time to talk

19

 Jun 24, 2009 at 05:32 PM Eli Says:

Reply to #9  
HaLeiVi Says:

And if not smoking would decrease your chance of getting lung cancer than everybody would stop smoking.
Well guess what; some people do stupid things and some post stupid things.

People get lung cancer, because they have lungs. People get breast cancer cause they have breasts, you get the point? Will putting something harmful into your body increase the chance to get sick? Definitely! But talking by davening? How does that make you sick? Take hashkafa out of the picture, do you really believe that making someone feel guilty about something, help other people with their sickness? You, my friend, are obviously completely brainwashed! Attacking me won't change reality.
So, why don't you just sit back, crack open an ice cold beer & enjoy life a little? Huh? You're afraid of a little enjoyment?

20

 Jun 24, 2009 at 03:33 PM Anonymous Says:

if rabbis are now practicing medicine perhaps i should be asking my doctor halachic questions opps he has a rabbinical degree as well

21

 Jun 24, 2009 at 06:28 PM seen it all Says:

The kfirah (or plain am haratzus) that people post here is stunning.
The Rambam (hilchos tanniyos perek 1 halacha 3) אבל אם לא יזעקו ולא יריעו אלא יאמרו דבר זה ממנהג העולם אירע לנו וצרה זו נקרה נקרית. הרי זו דרך אכזריות וגורמת להם להדבק במעשיהם הרעים. ותוסיף הצרה צרות אחרות

simple translation is that if u will say that this just happens, statistics, this is cruelty and causes people to continue their evil ways and brings more tragedies.

22

 Jun 24, 2009 at 07:35 PM David Says:

Rabbonim have been pretty clear for centuries on the need to avoid talking during davening. But how many rabbonim, especially in Israel, tell their students and congregants that they shouldn’t smoke, or least not start smoking? Rabbonim could do a lot to reduce cancer by encouraging the mitzvah of ushmartem es nafshosechem (the violation of which has been scientifically proven to directly link to lung cancer).

Baruch Hashem, Rabbi Twerski and others are starting to fight against the plague of smoking. I know people who started smoking while in their mid-teens in yeshiva and have been unable (or unwilling) to stop fifteen years later.

23

 Jun 24, 2009 at 08:45 PM Anonymous Says:

I would love for some statistical analysis to be done at Shevet Halevi over the next few years to see if the number of cancer cases is reduced because of the no talking agreement. Would be a good test to see if Rav Wosner's assertion is correct.

24

 Jun 24, 2009 at 08:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Over the past few years there have been an unusual number of deaths of young people in my community. This fact has been noted by Rabbonim and lay people alike. Talking during davening can bring calamity to a community, so I am disappointed that I haven’t heard of any Rav who has spoken publicly about the possibility of a connection between this phenomenon and the overwhelming amount of talking that goes on in our shuls. Kaddish, Kedushah, Chazaras HaShatz, Krias HaTorah… doesn’t make a difference. We have contingents of equal opportunity magpies.

And so I’ve had a certain fantasy about buying a beautiful mahogany box with a hinged lid. Contained therein would be a gun and a small sign attached to the inside of the lid. Walking over to a group of magpies I would open the box. They would see the gun and the sign which reads: “So rodeif, who are you trying to kill today.”

Sigh…I just don’t have the guts.

25

 Jun 25, 2009 at 11:30 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #24  
Anonymous Says:

Over the past few years there have been an unusual number of deaths of young people in my community. This fact has been noted by Rabbonim and lay people alike. Talking during davening can bring calamity to a community, so I am disappointed that I haven’t heard of any Rav who has spoken publicly about the possibility of a connection between this phenomenon and the overwhelming amount of talking that goes on in our shuls. Kaddish, Kedushah, Chazaras HaShatz, Krias HaTorah… doesn’t make a difference. We have contingents of equal opportunity magpies.

And so I’ve had a certain fantasy about buying a beautiful mahogany box with a hinged lid. Contained therein would be a gun and a small sign attached to the inside of the lid. Walking over to a group of magpies I would open the box. They would see the gun and the sign which reads: “So rodeif, who are you trying to kill today.”

Sigh…I just don’t have the guts.

Maybe your designated "rodef" will punch in the nose and you will become smarter. Why not try to be don es kol l'kaf tzichus instead of your stupid approach

26

 Jun 25, 2009 at 10:53 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #19  
Eli Says:

People get lung cancer, because they have lungs. People get breast cancer cause they have breasts, you get the point? Will putting something harmful into your body increase the chance to get sick? Definitely! But talking by davening? How does that make you sick? Take hashkafa out of the picture, do you really believe that making someone feel guilty about something, help other people with their sickness? You, my friend, are obviously completely brainwashed! Attacking me won't change reality.
So, why don't you just sit back, crack open an ice cold beer & enjoy life a little? Huh? You're afraid of a little enjoyment?

And you're an apkores. Take hashkafa out of the picture? Why not take medicine out of the picture? Or reason, or anything else you arbitrarily decide to eliminate? The only reason to single out hashkafa is if you think it's all a fairy tale, and the world runs itself without HKBH. Which is why I say you're an apikores.

27

 Jun 25, 2009 at 10:50 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #16  
anonymous Says:

I would like an explanation regarding the increase of neuroblastomas and gliomas in children . Are they stricken with cancer because of speaking during davening

Yes. That is precisely what the Tosfos Yomtov says.

28

 Jun 25, 2009 at 10:59 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #3  
David Says:

Apparently, my grandfather must have talked during davening. Maybe it was when he was asking whether people were kohanim or leviim (he was the gabbai of his shul). I knew that his cancer was all his own fault!

I wouldn’t tell insurance companies about this insight. They might start to classify “talking during davening” as a preexisting condition and start denying payments for chemotherapy.

Why is it that whenever there is an explanation given for a tragedy, it is always because we are violating/need to improve mitzvos bein adam l’makom? Why doesn’t anyone talk about the need to nicer to others and increase our acts of kindness towards our fellow man?

Why don't we say that? Because it's not "us" blaming talking during davening for all these things, it's people who actually know what they're talking about. Do you ask medical scientists why they blame ulcers on a bacterium and the flu on a virus, and not the other way around? They know what they're talking about, and we trust them. So why don't you trust the string of tzadikim from the Tosfos Yomtov on, who blamed communal suffering, and in particular the deaths of children, on talking during davening? If they said it, it's probably because it's true.

29

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