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Some synagogues have a room for prayers that's used on a regular basis: weekdays, Shabasos, holidays. If there are two simultaneous minyanim, then one will be elsewhere, of course, but otherwise the main prayer room is always used.

Other synagogues have a main prayer room used on Shabasos, holidays, and on certain other occasions; on weekdays, however, prayers are held in a smaller room, often called the "chapel" or the "bes midrash", and the large prayer room goes unused.

Obviously, acoustics, demographics, and other pragmatics might influence whether a given synagogue is of the first type (described in the first paragraph) or of the second (described in the second paragraph). I am wondering whether there are also halachic or philosophical issues that affect this choice: do, for example, synagogues of the first type follow one halachic ruling or moral teaching, and those of the second type follow another?

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Often it is done out of practical, not philosophical considerations. Not to heat or air condition a large congregation when there are not that many people. – Gershon Gold Dec 26 '11 at 18:35
@GershonGold, yes, I mentioned as much in my question, which then went on to ask whether there are halachic or philosophical considerations also. – msh210 Dec 26 '11 at 18:55
The Fashion District shul in Manhattan is a nice example. For Yom Tov they actually have a large sanctuary, but for weekday they get just barely a minyan, so they use the small bais medrash. (7th and 40th st, north west corner). Conservative too I think. – geoffc Dec 26 '11 at 19:25
Some shuls hold that everyone should come to minyan everyday, others hold that most people are patur from minyan during the week. – Double AA Dec 26 '11 at 21:44
@DoubleAA, is that a joke? If not, a source please. – Ze'ev Felsen Jan 27 '14 at 0:51

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