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How close to the shul would a Rabbi generally require congregants or a prospective convert to move (in kilometers please!)?

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"Walking distance". That'll vary with the individual. Me? A mile is no problem. Grandma? Closer. –  Monica Cellio Oct 4 '12 at 14:52
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I second @MonicaCellio. A congregant won't generally be required by his or her rabbi to be "close" to Shul. But a prospective convert (p.c.) will likely be required to do several things to show commitment, one of which is to move to within "walking distance" (a subjective distance) to a Shul. A pickier rabbi might recommend that a p.c. find a home deeply embedded in the community (eg., if the Shul is on the edge of the community and a p.c. finds a house 6 blocks away surrounded by Jewish neighbors and another 3 blocks away outside the neighborhood, the rabbi might recommend the first one). –  Seth J Oct 4 '12 at 15:13
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You should also take techum into consideration. Depending on local considerations, you could live a mile away but still be prohibited from walking to the synagogue. –  Fred Oct 4 '12 at 17:32
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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Well, what's reasonably walkable? Probably about 2 kilometers or so.

Another significant factor -- if the synagogue's neighborhood has an eruv, it's reasonable for a rabbi to expect people to move within the eruv -- it will be far easier to observe shabbos if you can carry in the neighborhood (especially if most of the locals are used to doing so). Take Pittsburgh's eruv, for instance. You could find points within a 2-km radius of the synagogue that are outside of the eruv.

Most eruv maps are up online these days, so search around a bit (or ask) and you should be able to figure it out.

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3  
Or, for examples near Mahalia's declared location: eruv.org.za –  Isaac Moses Oct 4 '12 at 15:01
    
Thanks Shalom! I just learned about Eruvs, thanks. –  Mahalia S Oct 4 '12 at 15:06
    
Thanks Isaac, I found that site on Google. The OU has an eruv map on their site which I checked out as well. –  Mahalia S Oct 4 '12 at 15:12
    
@MahaliaSamuels, so did I, naturally :) –  Isaac Moses Oct 4 '12 at 15:15
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