For the week ending 24 November 2007 / 14 Kislev 5768

Thinking of the Speaker

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Become a Supporter Library Library
Question: While attending a weekday lecture I am often tempted to make some comment to the person sitting next to me about what we have just heard. Since I got a "dirty look" from the speaker the last time I did so I wonder what indeed is the right thing to do.

Answer: A public speaker makes a great effort to prepare and deliver his talk. Seeing someone more interested in talking to his neighbor than listening to him can be most disturbing. Not only will you be guilty of hurting his feelings, but also you may be compromising his effectiveness in delivering his message.

If you cannot resist the temptation to share your mid-lecture thoughts the best thing to do is to write a note that you can pass to your neighbor. The speaker will generously attribute your writing as an effort to record his words and will not miss a beat in his presentation.

© 1995-2024 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions

« Back to Ethics

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) EIN 13-3503155 and your donation is tax deductable.