The story takes place in a delicatessen located in downtown Manhattan. The time is summer and the weather is slightly warm. Into the delicatessen walks a nervous type of Jewish man from the Garment industry to consume his lunch. “Waiter, waiter” — the customer calls the waiter — “it is too warm in this place, could you turn on the air conditioner?” The Chinese waiter politely bows and says, “Yes, ah-so, I shall do so.” The customer eats his pastrami sandwich and a few minutes later calls the waiter over again. “Waiter, waiter, it is too cold here, could you turn off the air conditioner?” The Chinese waiter very politely bows again and says, “Yes, ah-so, yes, ah-so,” and walks away. The customer continues munching his meal and a few minutes later in an agitated fashion calls over the waiter again. “Waiter, waiter, it’s too warm in this restaurant, could you turn on your air conditioner again?” The Chinese waiter politely bows again and says: “Ah-so, ah-so” and walks away. This back-and-forth scene continues two or three times until another customer sitting next to this nervous patron calls over the waiter and tells him: “I don’t understand you guys. This fellow is driving you nuts. He tells you to turn on the air conditioner, turn off the air conditioner, turn on the air conditioner. What’s the matter with him?” The waiter politely smiles. “He not driving me crazy — no, sir. I drive him crazy. There is no air conditioner in this restaurant.”
If the Sheliah Siboor – the cantor – started the repetition of the Shemoneh Esre – Amidah – while there were ten men present and then people left leaving less than a quorum of ten in the room – he continues the recitation of the blessings until he completes the entire Amidah.
However, in situations where the Kohanim would bless the people in the middle of the Amidah’s repetition – ten must be present when the Kohanim start the blessings. Should some of the people who were present when the Sheliah Siboor began the repetition of the Amidah leave he may complete the Amidah but the Kohanim do not bless.
Once they do begin the blessings with a quorum of ten they may complete the blessings even if people leave and there are less than ten left in the room. Source: Shulhan Arukh, O’H 128:1, with Mishnah Berurah and Biur Halakha loc. cit.
The Teachings of Rebbe Pinchas of Koretz and His Disciple, Rebbe Raphael of Bershad
ON LANGUAGE, ACTIONS, THOUGHTS, AND DREAMS
R’ Pinchas said: “When you speak evil of another man, the Satan will compel you to be his witness against the object of your words. Would you become the Satan’s assistant? Blame the fault, not the man”.*
*Nofeth Tzufim, p. 49 (A), cited in The Hasidic Anthology: Tales and Teachings of the Hasidim, by Louis I. Newman, p. 512. Reprinted with permission of Ann Newman (B)