Chassidus: Making Jews Late for Prayer Since the 1800s

… It is told that the great Chasidic leader Rabbi Zusia of Hanipoli (c. 1720-1800) once came late to synagogue. When he was asked what happened, he replied that when he woke up in the morning, he began the usual prayer, “I give thanks before You …” (Modeh ani lefanekha). He said the first three words and could go no further. He explained, “I became suddenly aware of who the ‘I’ was, and who the ‘You’ was. I was struck speechless and could not continue.”

Jewish Meditation, by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, p. 94

Please tell me you jest! Occasional, justifiable lateness is not evil. Not all Chassidic Rebbes encouraged lateness. Was there nothing else you could gain from the story quoted above? The title is so inflammatory, I…?

The title was half-joking.

Now I’m half-offended.

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