Monday, September 25, 2006

Should obese people get two or three seats?

I know many people might get offended by this post but someone has to say something about this issue already. This issue has come up about airplanes as well as when Guliani was mayor of New York this issue was brought up about subways and busses. Now I want to bring up this issue for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in the synagogue.

Depending on the synagogue you attend there is very little space between you and the people next to you on either side. During the High Holidays synagogues all over are usually packed to capacity with very few seats. Because of this, many shuls require you to purchase seats to make sure you have a place for the holidays. This being the case, what if you are one person who needs more than one seat? My last post here spoke about items covering a seat but I did not mention a person covering more than one seat. During Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur you are in Shul for hours and spend most of the day there. Should you have to sit next to an obese person who is on top of you or even on you seat with you? I propose that if you are over a certain size you should have to buy the seats next to you on either side. How can a person concentrate on their davening if someone like this is next to you. Especially if they are sweaty and smelly. I noticed this past Yom Tov the person who was supposed to sit next to me never did because he could not fit into the seat because of the person on the other side of him. Obesity is a problem all by itself in the frum community but an obese person should not make other people suffer. I understand that an obese person might have a disease and cannot help being that way and we should feel bad for people like this but they should also have some respect for everyone else and recognize what their problem is. The non-Jewish community understands this which is why you get ticketed on the NY subway and busses if you take up more than one seat. The major airlines have brought this up as well. I think my proposal should be taken into consideration. If the person cannot afford more than one seat than let someone donate it out of the kindness of their heart. I want to reiterate that I do feel bad for these people but I also want to reiterate that it is important that we are able to concentrate on our tefillahs as well


Jack's Shack said...

Just deal with it. Sometimes there are people who daven off key and do so quite loudly.

Sometimes the guy next to you suffers from the stomach flu and consequently has such gas you want to gag.

What about them? Should they pay more too.

Litvak said...

Interesting question.

I hear the problem.

"Obesity is a problem all by itself in the frum community"

Maybe you should devote a separate posting to that problem in general.

FrumWithQuestions said...

Jack- If the person next to you has the stomach flu or bad gas they have no business being in shul to begin with. Thats why on Rosh Hashana there are people who go to homes to blow shofar. The halachos regarding this issue are clear and one cannot daven in the presence of that "gas" smell so the person should not be there. Because they shouldn't be there they don't need to by any seats because they will be home. Regarding the off key singing see my previous post about that issue.

Litvak- I will have a post about that it the near future. There are a few more things I need to get to first.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I understand what you are saying but I don't think there is much to do.

kasamba said...

I know it's immature to say, 'eww, gross!' but that is exactly how I feel!
It's just not right when someone elses problems encroach on someone elses space.
I do feel sorry for them and may Hashem never put me in that position- but they should get two seats.

Rebecca said...

maybe you should buy the extra seats for them. why should they spend the money?
why do you assume that obese people smell, that is unfair. I've met many skinny smelly ppl

FrumWithQuestions said...

Rebecca- Why should they spend the money? They are the ones making everyone else feel uncomfortable so it is their responsibilty to take care of it not others.

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