Top 10 ways to pass the time in synagogue


10. Pick a long song, like “American Pie”, and try to remember all the words.

9. Play anagrams with the English side of the Machzor text.

8. Start a rumour that a high school classmate is engaged to a political figure… but refuse to say which one.

7. Insert random words into the songs where everyone sings along, and see who notices.

6. Make eye contact with a relative on the other side of the mechitza and try to communicate using rudimentary sign language.

5. Say hello to all the people who you haven’t seen since last year and have no intention of seeing again till next year, and score them on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how convincing their fake conversation is.

4. Debate what would be more appropriate for the the President of the congregation who deems it necessary to bore everyone to tears with his 45-minute speech during Kol Nidre services – a hook, a band, or a slow clap.

3. Start a chorus of boos when the same president stands up the next night at ne’ila to give yet another speech 5 minutes after the shofar was supposed to be blown.

2. Sleep. Especially effective during the Rabbi’s sermon.

1. First row of the men’s balcony section method: Start a betting pool as to how long the Rabbi’s sermon will be, and buy the winner a steak dinner at a popular “kosher-style” restaurant after the holidays.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roundhead 09.26.04 at 4:58 PM

sounds like how I passed my youth at St. Giles Presbytarian Church…


2 DaninVan 09.27.04 at 4:15 PM

#11 snooze
#12 count the old guys picking their noses


3 elanamatic 09.30.04 at 3:49 PM

these are great, but you forgot about the over-the-top hat contest!

my shul in toronto is pretty low-key and alternative. no mechitza. no hats. i did see a transgendered lesbian couple though!


4 segacs 09.30.04 at 5:09 PM

Hey Elana,

We did have an over-the-top shoe contest. A woman with sequined slippers won it hands-down.


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