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7
votes
2answers
123 views

Are Synagogues “holy ground,” offering protection from evil creatures?

I'm not a Jew, but I'm writing a fantasy novel set in medieval Europe, and one of my characters is a Jew. I've got a group of people with diverse backgrounds who've come together to fight a great ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Is women saying Kaddish an issue of Kol Isha?

I have seen it discussed whether or not there is an issue of kol isha by kriyas haTorah, but I have not seen any sources addressing whether there is an issue of kol isha by kaddish, specifically...? ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

What is the source and reason for saying “Yeyasher Kochacha” or “Chazak Ubaruch”?

Follow up to this M.Y. question Why do congregants say to a person who has received an aliyah or was shaliach tzibbur (there may be other situations, but I can't think of any others) either "Yeyasher ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

What is the status of the Yad we use to read from the Torah?

Does the Yad for reading Torah has the status of tashmish mitzvah or tashmish kedusha? Background to the question: Our shul has a BIG yad in extremely bad shape. Impossible to fix anymore. It is ...
5
votes
0answers
158 views

Why no 15-minutes-early clause in English rabbis' contracts?

Rabbi Yitzchak Reuven Rubin wrote in 2001: In fact, it wasn't long ago that every rabbi in England was required by contract to "present himself fifteen minutes before the time of Divine worship." ...
6
votes
1answer
195 views

Making very loud drumming noise during davening

Many leaders and congregants in my shul bang with their hands on the shulchan and on their siddurs and stomp their feet in what is supposed to be the rhythm of the prayer's melody. The noise is ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Breslov Lecha Dodi in Katamon, Jerusalem

I've been twice to the Breslov Minyan next to the hospital in Katamon for Kabbalat Shabbat. It's probably my favourite minyan in the world, and the most amazing part of the davening is the Lecha Dodi, ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Can or should a shul expel talkative members who are also the shul's major benefactors?

Sadly, talking during davening in shul is a major problem. Lets say a shul has a few people who constantly talk loudly throughout davening and they disturb the other people and the rabbi. The rabbi, ...
9
votes
1answer
104 views

Is a person allowed to sit in someone's reserved shul seat before that person appears?

My shul sells tickets for High Holiday seating. These are paid specific seats for the person who reserved them. Sometimes, outsiders attend the shul on Rosh Hashanna. Our shul doesn't refuse them ...
9
votes
4answers
122 views

Torah studies at Synagogue

How do we make studying Torah by adults a central part of our synagogue?
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Can I talk about my business in shul if it is to help another Jew avoid a transgression?

Reuven's job is to check clothing for shaatnez and remove it. Shimon gives Reuven a suit to check. Later they meet in the synagogue. Mishna Berura 151 (1)[2] forbids even mundane talk for one's ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Permissibility of Prayer in a Sabbatean Synagogue

Inspired by the Churva Synagogue of R. Yehuda HaChassid (18th cent.) who was likely a Sabbatean (not to be confused with the 12th century rabbi of the same name), and his congregation which almost ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Giving money to a shul

Someone told me that giving money towards a shul in order to enhance and beautify the physical structure of the building is a mitzvah. Is there source for this?
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Please explain the idea of the Chair of Elijah in synagogue

What is the purpose and meaning of the Chair of Elijah? I understand that (some?) synagogues have a chair called the Chair of Elijah. Does this mean that it is a special chair that is set aside for ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Can anybody read from the torah or prophets in a synagogue?

I am trying to understand the context of a passage from the Christian gospels. Luke 4:16 says that Jesus went into the synagogue and started reading from the book of Isaiah. At that time could ...
6
votes
1answer
134 views

What is the source for Rav Soloveitchik's assertion that 1st Century Christians introduced mixed seating for prayers?

In the collection of Rav Soloveitchik’s responsa Community, Covenant and Commitment, there is a series of letters railing against mixed seating in the synagogue. Amongst the points raised there is a ...
-4
votes
1answer
66 views

The blessing for not talking in shul

I read in תוכחת חיים that , "One who is careful not to speak in shul during davening will he blessed to see children, long life, great success, and will NOT suffer the pains of Gehinnom. He will never ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Can a shul be said to have a second Bimah?

Here is a picture from a shul that has a raised platform by the Ark. They also have the Bimah where the chazzan davens from, in the centre of the shul. Is that raised platform near the ark, also ...
1
vote
3answers
67 views

davening in a shul with member who are mechalel shabbos be'farhesya

someone told me that he stopped davening in a certain shul because he saw members driving to shul on shabbos (the shul doesnt close their parking lot on shabbos.) is there a makkor in halacha not to ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Should one who is sick attend minyan? [duplicate]

If one has cold/ sickness that is contagious, should he attend minyan while risking getting other people sick or should he daven at home?
10
votes
2answers
421 views

What do I do when asked to “open the Aron” or “take out the Torah”?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
8
votes
2answers
100 views

Lifting Torah during Bracha When Called for an Aliyah

I have noticed that while making the Bracha for an aliyah, many people lift the Torah when Hashem's name is recited. Is there a source for this?
16
votes
4answers
661 views

Shape of the Luchot

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HabBerit were square. Where did the common "tablet" shape come from, with rectangles and a rounded top? Besides in pictures, I see it in ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

Exactly how should the shaliach bow for Barachu?

In every synagogue I have been in, the shaliach zibur has bowed in some way at Barachu. I presume there must be a foundation for this. If so, there should be a correct way to bow. I am seeking clarity ...
5
votes
4answers
226 views

Halachically, are you allowed to “remove” a sick person from the Mi Sheberach “list”?

In my shul, people mention or write the name of a sick person on a slip of paper and give this to the rabbi who adds it to an existing stack of names. Since I am the Torah reader, I announce Mi ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Attending a Bar Mitzvah at a Reform Synagogue

Do any contemporary Orthodox poskim discuss the matter? What potential problems could arise from attending, or from not attending, if the Bar Mitzvah boy is a close relative?
4
votes
2answers
151 views

The “Canon” - Basic Sefarim for a Shul Library?

Our shul library has been neglected for many, many years, and b'h' we are finally cleaning and organizing it. We have some great books, but I'd like to know of some resources identifying important ...
16
votes
2answers
602 views

Halachot of Shul Mechitzot

What are some good books, articles, websites, or seforim for learning about the Halachot of constructing and maintaining a Shul Mechitza (the barrier between the men and women sections)? Issues ...
11
votes
1answer
126 views

Do you have to consider neighbors when building a shul?

Are there any halachic obligations to consider the averse effects that building a shul may have on Jewish neighbors? This may include things like lowering property value, noise and other disturbances, ...
7
votes
3answers
477 views

Ostrich eggs in Shul?

Kinyan L'Shabbos (published weekly by Hamodia) - July 18, 2012, page 11 has a fascinating article by Rabbi Avraham Y. Heschel regarding an ancient custom of displaying ostrich eggs in a Beis Knesses. ...
7
votes
2answers
105 views

Half Aleinu outside a shul

Has anyone heard of the minhag to say Aleinu only until "Al ken Nekave Lach" (only the 1st paragraph) if one is not praying in a synagogue? I've been told a number of times about this practice in ...
-4
votes
1answer
56 views

Can a woman be part of the decision regarding a shul's minhag?

There are a few areas in davening where each shul has it's own minhag (custom). For example, whether to say Hallel the 1st two nights of Pesach, in shul. Some shuls have a ritual "committee" that ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Does “שויתי ה׳ לנגדי תמיד” relate to a synagogue?

"שויתי ה׳ לנגדי תמיד" ("I have placed God before me constantly", Ps. 16:8) is cited in Rama (OC 1:1) as support for what he writes there: that one should be aware that he's always before God, who can ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

Is there a recommended timing chart for each section of davening?

I know that davening should not be rushed. However, inevitably, it seems that it is, in many shuls. Weekday morning shacharit, in particular, seems to be the most rushed as people have to commute to ...
5
votes
5answers
364 views

Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

“Qof, Qof” What does this mean?

An old (formerly used) synagogue building in my town has this sign on the front of it: The text says "Shaaray Torah", the name of the congregation, but what is the meaning of the two qofs above it? ...
8
votes
3answers
657 views

Where does “probeh” come from?

Every time recently that I've heard of an Orthodox congregation conducting a search for a rabbi, the stage at which the rabbi visits the community for a Shabbat and auditions for the position is ...
2
votes
6answers
392 views

Yotzros and Musaf for the 4 Parshios

Are there any Nusach Ashkenaz Shuls that say Yotzros or Musaf on the weeks of the Four Parshios?
9
votes
2answers
229 views

What does one do when one needs to bentch gomel?

One who has recovered from a serious illness or accident is supposed to bentch gomel during the torah service. What do you need to know to do this? Specifically: When is the right time -- the ...
3
votes
0answers
44 views

Using someone's mother/father's disliked name for ritual purposes

Closely related to this question, what happens if someone's mother or father doesn't/didn't like her or his name, and the child now either needs a MiSheBerach or is called to the Torah? What name ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

MiSheBerach for someone who doesn't like his/her own name

Another question asked about a case in which someone does not want to use his/her mother's name in a MiSheBerach. What if someone dislikes his/her own given name and goes by a different name? What ...
10
votes
1answer
69 views

Can you have a trash bin in shul?

Over Shabbos, the Shul in which I davened had a trash bin towards the back. This caused me to realize that I do not think that I have ever seen another permanent Shul sanctuary which had a garbage ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

“Pulpit” on the Bimah

In most Orthodox Ashkenazi schuls, it is customary to have a lectern (the amud) at the front of the room, below the duchan, from whence the baal tefillah leads. Typically, I have noticed that it is ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

How many times do women say Kaddish in shul?

If only a woman in the shul is saying Kaddish, does she say it once or every time that the siddur says Kaddish yasom (the Kaddish for mourners)? From this answer, I see that it is permitted for her ...
1
vote
4answers
391 views

How Can One Know If A Synagogue is Orthodox or Modern Orthodox?

I've looked on the websites and, other than just going in and asking each and every local synagogue, is there some easy way to know if an orthodox synagogue is Modern or Traditional?
3
votes
0answers
25 views

Candles by the amud [duplicate]

Why do people light candles in shul by the amud during davening? Is the custom specific to certain groups?
18
votes
3answers
1k views

What halachic issues are involved in turning off a mobile phone while praying the quiet Amidah?

A person realises during his quiet Amidah, that he has not turned off his mobile phone. He is worried lest it ring while he is praying. On the other hand, turning it off will interfere with his ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Whence the minhag to light in shul by day?

In pretty much every shul and yeshiva I've been in has lit Chanukah candles by shacharis, the same number of candles that were lit the night before. What is the source for this custom, and why is it ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Could the minhag of lighting menorah in Shuls have developed from when guests would stay in Shul?

Could the minhag (=custom) of lighting menorah in synagogues have developed from when guests would stay in the synagogue? Does anyone bring this as a source for the minhag? If so, would it not apply ...