Issue 18 | Yom Kippur | Rattling Coins



The Noisy Synagogue

Do jangling coins ever get on your nerves? If you answered yes, don’t feel bad; you’re not alone.

Noise usually describes unwanted and disturbing sounds. Take the squealing sound of chalk on a blackboard or the screech of metal against stone during honing. But there are times when noise – unwanted noise – can serve a vital purpose.

On Erev Yom Kippur there is custom to distribute as much charity as possible. In many Synagogues charity plates fill the tables, with people tossing coins into the plates. Once, in the time of the Baal Shem Tov, the suggestion was put forth to do away with these noisy plates, due to the fact that the clamor of the jangling coins was disturbing the prayers.

Discover the Baal Shem Tov’s surprising rejection of this suggestion, emphasizing that the jangling racket irritates and disperses the dark forces that try to stand in the way.


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