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In a city with many shuls, in what way should we think about the individual shuls?

a) They are “service” (no pun intended) providers and I will take the services as they suit me best. Even if I take membership of one or more shuls, that does not limit my use of the other shuls.

b) Once I become a member of one shul, I have an obligation towards it to organise my life around its timetable to preferably go to its shiurim and other events.

There are obvious advantages of a community: people take an interest for and care for each other; if I am not in shul people will check to see if I am well etc.

The ideal answer would contain some form of source material – if not responsa, at least stories of Gedolim.

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Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/18983/472 –  Monica Cellio Feb 18 '13 at 14:21
    
This reminds me of the old joke about the Jew who was found after 20 years as a castaway on an island. He showed his rescuerers several buildings he had built for himself. In fact, he had built two synagoguges. Why two? "This is the shul to go to, and that is the shul I wouldn't set foot in." –  Bruce James Feb 18 '13 at 18:42
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How was the man rescued from that island? The membership committee found him. –  El'ad ben Avraham Mar 24 '13 at 5:11
    
@BruceJames: "They couldn't chat together--they had not been introduced." –  TRiG Mar 26 '13 at 15:26

1 Answer 1

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 90:19, says:

One should designate a place for his prayer, one he should not change unnecessarily. It's insufficient to designate a synagogue to pray in: even in the synagogue he's designated, it's necessary that he have a designated place.

Your question seems to be asking about both prayer and others uses (classes etc.) of a synagogue. I don't know about the other uses, but as far as prayer goes the Shulchan Aruch seems pretty clear.

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But what about "preferably go to its shiurim and other events"? –  Avrohom Yitzchok Feb 18 '13 at 20:24
    
@AvrohomYitzchok, as noted explicitly in my answer, I'm not addressing that part of the question. –  msh210 Feb 18 '13 at 20:30
    
Sorry - you're right of course. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Feb 18 '13 at 20:38

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