This is the second post in a series on the ways that New York City synagogues fulfill the mitzvah of hachnasat orechim (welcoming guests).
This morning I was at a synagogue that I don't regularly attend (which describes every synagogue, I suppose), for a special occasion. During the kedushah, a fast-paced melody was used, and I was rhythmically hitting the pew in front of me, as did a number of other people. A gentleman of a certain age (who was later identified to be a Conservative rabbi, but was emphatically not the rabbi of the congregation), sitting behind me, nudged me and said quite loudly, "It's an idolatrous custom!" I stopped.
After the kedushah was over, I turned around and said to him "It's asur to speak during kedushah." He said "I know that, but it's a bigger aveirah to bang on a bench like that. I was trying to save you." I said "I appreciate it." He said "I know all the hilchos mafsik, and I don't need to learn it from you."