Make sure you purchase a seat in shul. You do not want to be the outcast, sitting in the free ‘I didn’t prepare for the holidays’ section. Especially if you are single, purchase a seat. Show people you can commit to something.
People show up on these days. Something about life and death makes people feel religious. Non-religious heretics don’t even think about how much more comfortable it is to show up on Shabbat. An average Shabbat, you can get a good three seats, to yourself. Good buffer space. It is the same people that all decide that leaving work at 5pm is a good idea.
It might be Yom Kippur, but you do not give up your seat for anybody.You give that up, it shows total weakness, a lack of frum pride. On Yom Kippur, you are even allowed to publicly reprimand an individual who sits in your seat in shule. This is known as your makom kavuah (your fixed seat, you heretic who always lost at musical chairs). First start with a little Tallit smack. Put on your ‘prayer shawl’ with a big swing, so the tassels smack the guy in the face. Let them know how it works at your makom kavuah.
Discomfort and pain is the goal of Teshuva (repentance, you heretic who is still letting your siddur hang over the seat in front of you). H’ is looking down, saying, ‘They were just in shule for 12 hours. 80 hours over the last week and half, reading words they don’t understand. The Chazan was naynaynaying every tune. The cantor even sung songs that he didn’t even know. Bought the machzor that translates Hebrew into Hebrew. Been religious all year. No fun at all. They sat through the two hour Kol Nidrei paragraph, they are forgiven.’
All about testing your nerves. That is why the chazan goes on for 5 hours, for Shaharit (morning service, you heretic who showed up at noon,thinking you were going to catch kiddush), which takes 20 minutes to read, at home. All part of Teshuva
Shules make it their goal to help with this pain. Hence, you will notice the chazan going off on notes for extended periods of time, to frustrate you. Now, the seats are tiny.
Seats in shule- Aren’t made for people. Tiny little bucket. If you are a half a person, you can fit in with your foot over the armrest. They tried very hard to create a formula for discomfort and space. They went to the movie theaters and figured that you can make the seats more uncomfortable if you make them out of wood and cut them in half.
If you are sitting at the end of the row, you can lean at a 45 degree angle for the fifteen hour service, and be comfortable.
The optimal discomfort would be on a plane. Being that it is forbidden to fly on the holidays,
Made to be as uncomfortable as possible. In Israel they give you the siddur shtender area (book holder- you apikores who reads paperback books that you can read with one hand). They even recently started making the shtender just small enough, so the guys machzor is smacking my head all of davening (Machzor is the prayerbook, siddur, for the High Holidays, you heathen who thinks davening is not prayer with more movement). Discomfort being the key, last Yom Kippur, as I was hitting my heart, I used my third hit to whack the guy in back of me. Then I kicked him. He wasn’t in my makom kavuah, but somebody had to let him know that we are in the middle of the day of atonement for our sins. After throwing a couple of punches at him, I feel like I got out all of my hatred for other people. I feel like I did real Teshuva.
I took the guy’s siddur/machzor which was in my neck, and smacked him with it. I always questioned why all sifrei kodesh (holy books, you sifarim reading picture pop up book apikores) were hardcover. It is due to this experience that I now feel closer to the holy word of H.’
According to the Rambam, repentance is about saying ‘I will never do it again.’ At the base of repentance is pain and lying. You must fully accept that anything you enjoyed is something you will never do again. The only things that were not painful this past year, you promise to stay away from. This coming year, you vow to only do things that doing make you happy. This is usually why people repent on their death bed, as it is the only time they can honestly say, ‘I will never do it again.’
Even though it may show a bit too much care, being that it is the High Holidays, you can show a little care for your fellow Jews, suffering for the day.
Armrest? Share it. Midos (positive attributes, unlike your pronouncing it Midot, you apikoret)? That is not going to happen. You cannot depend on your fellow Jew to be of a giving soul on Yom Kippur. S/he is still trying to figure out how to screw over your business. They make sure to provide one armrest for every two seats. This is a time for real atonement. My nephew thinks the whole row is his armrest. Work with your fellow human being. Go frontsies-backsies with your neighbor. Maybe go for arm against arm support. Do Teshuva, like the Rambam says, and say, ‘I will never elbow fight again with my neighbor.’ Go for some resolution that makes a difference.
Plastic seat area is can also be painful, even if you do have some movement ability. Everybody is vying for a spot. People are not very giving on Yom Kippur. Inching the seat back everytime the guy stands, makes the silent prayer extremely uncomfortable. Last year, as I moved towards the afternoon time, to the heretic section, I found myself in the middle of the 18 minute standing prayer, on my tiptoes.
In order to make for a full atonement, I took the guys plastic chair and whacked him. I left a mark on his face, hopefully leading to some discomfort. I feel like we were all able to do Teshuva together.
This year, make your makom kavuah in the plastic chair section. Make your seat mobile. If you show up early enough, you can reset the plastic area to suit your needs. Say, ‘I will never get hit by a siddur again. I will have room in Shule. I will suffer enough listening to the chazan. I will feel the pain and listen to the rabbi’s speech, which goes on for 45 minutes, in the middle of a 12 hour service, which is not long enough, so that I can hear some words in a language I understand. That is enough suffering for my sins.’
And if the services take more than 12 hours. Take your seat back to your home and relax. Even the frum people will respect that. Because no Chazan should be allowed to sing in the frum world. Even on Yom Kippur.