Ask the Rebbetzin – Handling noisy neighbors on Shabbat

Q: What suggestion do you have for someone trying to observe Shabbat when there are neighbours making noise, especially between 2-4 or from 5 min before candle lighting until an hour after?


A: Try singing your tefilot aloud after lighting the Shabbat candles. This can help block out the noise. Additionally, set aside something inspiring to read during noisy times. Remember, your mind is your own, and you have the power to choose whether or not to be disturbed by outside noise.

Consider the story of a chassid who complained of intrusive thoughts. He was sent to a rav who was an expert in dealing with such matters. When he arrived and knocked on the door, no one let him in, even though he could see people inside. He continued knocking, but still, no one answered. In the morning, the door was opened, and he was warmly welcomed. He explained his reason for coming, and the rav replied, “You have already received your answer. No one has to let another enter their domain without permission.”

Just as the rav did not open the door until he chose to, you too can decide what thoughts and disturbances you let in.

Wishing you a wellspring of Shabbat enjoyment.

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Rebbetzin Sara Feldbrand is an educator and writer. The Rebbetzin’s best selling books have been praised by many well known rabbis, educators and mental health professionals. Some of her books have been translated into French, German and Russian. She is currently available to conduct workshops on topics such as tefillah, personal growth and emotional resilience. She also counsels, mainly through her email address: