Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Tefila Trivia To Thwart Tedium

Here are three brain teasers relating to the davening and torah reading, useful for those who might find their minds wandering and their kavana less than perfect during the long upcoming Yomim Noraim davening. Not that this could ever happen to me, of course - no, no, my machzor came with a big finger-shaped indentation on the last page of Neilah! Anyway, if you do find yourself getting bored in shul, better to occupy yourself with stuff like this than to think about work, sports, extra-marital fantasies, etc.

I know there are games and web sites with "Torah trivia" but these are ones I made up myself so that has to count for something.

1) Yesterday we read the parsha of Nitzavim which is only 40 pesukim [verses] long, 20 of which were also read on the previous Shabbos afternoon/Monday/Thursday. So exactly 50% of this parsha is read on days other than the Shabbos when the full parsha is read. How many parshas are read more than 50% on days other than Shabbos, and which parsha(s) (not counting V'zos Haberacha which is entirely read on Simchas Torah) has/have the biggest percentage read on non-Shabbos days?

2) On what day(s) is the shortest Maariv service prayed? Note: Based on the Ashkenazic minhag/siddur.

3) From mincha on erev Yom Kippur through Neilah, inclusive, how many times is the chest struck? Note: Based on the Ashkenazic minhag/siddur, and assuming the chest is not struck for the "al chataim" lines at the end of the "al chayt" confession.


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