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If you're stuck in a public place (e.g. airport, mall) and need to daven (pray) -- usually it's Mincha, right before sunset: what's the best way to do it?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Email I recently received

From "B'Mechitzas Rabbeinu" -Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky's practices. See pages 58-59

Here's a loose translation by a friend:

One student - whose livelihood required him to always be on the road - asked R' Yaakov what to do about davening Mincha when he was out on the road. R' Yaakov advised him to pull into a highway rest stop or parking lot, park his car, and daven the entire mincha while sitting inside his car. R' Yaakov emphasized that there was absolutely no reason in such a case to stand up and daven in public - or to do anything else that would arouse anyone's curiosity. After all, being the subject of everyone else's curious looks would surely detract from him ability to concentrate on his prayers.

He also emphasized that it was against halacha to stand outside and daven out in the open under the 'Kippas HaShamayim'. Lastly, he told him that although many try and solve this problem by going into an empty telephone booth to daven, this is pure gezeilah [theft] from the phone companies. After all, while one is in there davening mincha, he's preventing others from entering and paying to make their phone calls.

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They used to say, "go find a phone booth"; these days, just hold up a cellphone to your ear, people will assume you're yakking away in some foreign language, but hopefully won't get disturbed.

Don't ask me what to do about the bowing part, though.

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