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4
votes
1answer
73 views

Are donations typically expected from the person receiving an aliyah?

Is it the normal practice of Orthodox shuls to expect a donation from a person who received an aliyah, even if there is no formal system of reminding or requiring the person to give a donation?
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Guitar during public weekday prayers

Is anyone aware of any halakhic opinion regarding the playing of musical instruments, guitar for example, in shul on a weekday, not shabbo. Does it have the same religious stigma and opposition as ...
6
votes
2answers
76 views

Do mourners change their seats in shul today?

The g'mara on Moed Katan 23a says that after shiva, when the mourner stays at home, he can return to shul but does not sit in his usual seat. (According to this g'mara, he returns to his usual seat a ...
-2
votes
2answers
59 views

Rav Ovadiah and talking in a shul or beis medrash delays the Geulah

Rav Ovadiah zt”l says, “Talking in a shul or beis medrash (during tefillah) delays the Geulah.” He bring it down in the Yabe’ah Omer 1:10:11. I don't know what what 1:10:11 stands for. Can someone ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Questions related to shul structure

I am seeking sources related to the origin of the physical structure of a shul. Specifically: Placement of the ark in the front of the shul. Torah reader's bimah - I've seen 3 arrangements: Most ...
3
votes
3answers
239 views

Singing too loudly in shul

I can't find this ruling in the Shulchan Aruch, but isn't there a common understanding that an individual shouldn't pray/sing at the very top of their voice in shul (which annoys other congregants and ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

loshon hora and shul

I heard that speaking Loshon Hora, Rechilus or to have arguments and quarreling is a serious crime in itself. It becomes an even greater sin when spoken in a shul or yeshiva, for the person, which ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Shul and the Divine Presence

Someone told me that when people are talking during davening it causes the Divine Presence to leave or depart from a shul. Is there a halachic source for this?
1
vote
0answers
56 views

mechitzah, shul and wedding [duplicate]

I read somewhere that a mechitzah is technically something required only in a shul. Is there a halachic source for this? I read somewhere that the concept of mechitzah has been extended to include ...
3
votes
1answer
24 views

Contact numbers for historic shuls in Upstate NY

There are several shuls in upstate NY, esp. in the Catskills region, that are on the Historical registry. When I visited some of these last summer, they were closed, and I could not locate any phone ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Can a gentile pray in a synagogue?

I am an 18 year old male interested in converting to Judaism, I have been reading the Tanakh amongst other things and have been learning more about the religion. My question pertains as to whether or ...
7
votes
4answers
307 views

Is there an aversion to having Gentiles in the synagoge and why?

I've noticed that in some communities being a non-Jew in the synagogue seems to be discouraged. In response to a request to visit I've heard responses as direct as "we don't have a conversion program ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the difference between a temple, a synagogue, and a congregation?

Jewish communities of worship are referred to by different English words: temple synagogue congregation (Feel free to edit the question to add to this list.) What are their differences? I am ...
4
votes
2answers
182 views

דע לפני מי אתה עומד on the ark

In some shuls it says on the ark, "Da Lifnei Mi Atah Omeid." Is there any source from which that comes?
4
votes
2answers
111 views

Prayer in the “House of the One”

I recently read this article on the new "House of the One". The building will feature three separated spaces for prayer: a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. There will be a central courtyard, but ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Messianic Jew and Wine

At what stage does a born-Jewish messianic Jew's presence at and/ or participation in an Orthodox synagogue's kiddush make wine 'Yayin Nesech'?
4
votes
5answers
254 views

Does a synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there?

A particular synagogue has large numbers of abandoned tallesim and tefilin in the drawers in the chapel. Does the synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there? Does the law change ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

What is the recommended minimum number of Sifrei Torah that a shul should have?

My shul has about a dozen Sifrei Torah but only 3 are kosher. I feel that a shul needs a minimum of 4. My reasoning: Next week is a good example - There are 2 days of Shavu'ot followed closely by ...
0
votes
1answer
140 views

Correct procedure for davening in Synagogue after sof zman tefila

In America, it is very common for shuls to start quite davening shacharit quite late on Shabbat. Suppose someone is going to be attending a synagogue that will not reach shmoneh esrei before sof zman ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Can one declare an area to be “not a shul” if it is in the same room as a shul?

Recently, my congregation moved into a temporary space while a new building is under construction. This space is essentially a single large room into which all the various elements of the old building ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

“Meikeh” (fence on the roof) on a shul nowadays

It says in the Rambam that a Beis HaKneses (a special place for prayer which has many certain laws about it) is not required to have a "meikeh" (a fence on the roof). I believe the same is said in the ...
3
votes
4answers
444 views

Why is there a Mezuzah in Shul

Why do Shuls have Mezuzahs if they don't need them?
1
vote
3answers
137 views

Why is so much importance attached to Mevarchim haChodesh (the blessing of the coming month)?

For example, in many shuls, there is a "Shabbos Mevarchim" kiddush, and I know of many people who try extra hard to be in shul that week (like it's parshas zachor or something). Is there any reason ...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

Should the shaliah tzibur and congregation face the direction the Aron points if it isn't pointing toward Jerusalem?

If the rear of the Aron points in any direction other than toward Jerusalem, which way should the shaliah tzibur and congregation face -when praying the Amidah? -during the rest of tefillah? Do the ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

Can a Woman be a Shul President? How about a member of Knesset?

Several years ago the National Council of Young Israel made news when a story came out that they banned women from being the president of a shul. (See here and here for details.) My question is: ...
16
votes
1answer
901 views

Killing somebody with the keys to the synagogue

In Yoreh Deah 339:1, the mechaber brings a variety of things that one is not permitted to do to a goses (a person on the brink of death), since each of these things causes the goses to die sooner. ...
13
votes
1answer
633 views

Shul Ravs: What is job outlook like and how much do they make

How much do Shul Rabbis get paid? Are there job opportunities in smaller communities out of New York, for people looking to go into the Rabbinate?
4
votes
1answer
94 views

What appropriate amount of tzedakah for mi sheberech?

What is considered to be appropriate amount to give for mi shebereh asking for a blessing for an individual ill person?
5
votes
2answers
177 views

Do we say “Ma Tovu” each time we enter the synagogue?

There is a custom to say the paragraph “מה טובו” on entering the synagogue (see “Avodah Shebelev” Rabbi A Z Sternbuch, 5753, page 18). The idea (but without the possuk of “Ma Tovu”) is mentioned in ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

Heter to decorate the shul in a humorous way in Adar?

I am bias here, I was raised to treat a beit k'neset (shul) with utmost respect; not to use the sanctuary as a shortcut, avoid mundane discussions there etc. I now live in a community which festively ...
5
votes
2answers
323 views

Why does the Rabbi face the congregation during prayer?

In nearly every shul I've been in the Rav of the shul sits up near the aron kodesh and faces towards the congregation instead of facing east. I assume this is in keeping with halacha (as mentioned in ...
2
votes
0answers
90 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." ...
10
votes
2answers
263 views

Do men on the women's side count toward a minyan?

If men are on the women's side of the shul during davening when there are no women there, do they count toward the minyan, or are they considered separate? Does it matter if the women's area is right ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

What's with the Bima?

When the Bais Hamikdash stood, on Yom Kipper the kohen gadol read from the torah facing the people and on Sukos the king read from the torah facing the people, why does our Bima face the Aron? If ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Why does the depiction of the tablets not contain the full wording?

In every single synagogue I've been in which has a depiction of the ten commandments on tablets, not a single one of them had all the words of the commandments fully written out. Usually they have the ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

Should we use a picture of the Western Wall as a “mizrach”?

Shulchan Oruch Horav 90 (22) advises against davenning in front of decorations on the wall of the shul. Is it, therefore, a good thing to use a picture of the Western Wall as a “mizrach” ("mizrach" ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Definition of Beit Hakneset area [with respect to tachanun]

Shulchan Aruch O"CH 131:4 says that we don't say Tachanun where there is a Chatan in the syagogue: (see also this related question) (Note: I mention here Chatan because it's clearly mentioned, but ...
7
votes
2answers
171 views

Is it better to pray at a synagogue where you feel comfortable praying, or to go where your father prays?

This is a common problem with guys living near or with their parents. Do you fulfill Kibud Av Ve'aim and go to shul with your father, or is it preferred to pray at a place where you feel more ...
6
votes
0answers
141 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Removing signs from a Shul bulletin board

In many areas Shuls have a bulletin board on which signs are hung. In some larger cities there are sign hanging companies that for a fee, go around and hang up posters for businesses on these bulletin ...
7
votes
4answers
125 views

Can anyone help me find resources for the content and organization of a shul library?

Our shul library has been neglected for many, many years, and b'h' we are finally cleaning and organizing it. I am used to using a library, not organizing it! So I wonder if anyone can give me some ...
5
votes
2answers
247 views

Going into a Reform synagogue to take a test

In the following question "Orthodox Visits to Other Denomination Sanctuaries" it discusses whether one may go into a Reform or Conservative synagogue for prayer and/or a wedding. Is one allowed to go ...
3
votes
0answers
190 views

Talking in shul

Most pasken according to the Shulchan Arukh that mundane talk in shul during tefilot is forbidden. With some exceptions: Is mundane speech allowed in shul?. Is there anywhere a halachic point of view ...
8
votes
1answer
81 views

Best practices for well-circulating Hoshanot

What can a congregation or an individual chazzan do to make the Hoshanot work as well as possible, logistically? I've been to many Sukkot services, especially on Hoshana Raba (HR), in which the ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Tetragrammaton on Aron Kodesh

I recently began my freshman year at a major US university. While in the university's Hillel for a meeting (I.e. not for davening), I saw the Aron Kodesh had engraved on it , fully spelled out, the ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Berith Millah in a different section of the Shul - Do you say Tahanun?

Are you supposed to say Tahanun if there is a Berith Millah being held in a different section of the Shul (eg., different Minyan being held in a different room)?
4
votes
1answer
310 views

Non-Jews & Shul Access

Can a shul deny access to a non-Jew due to the fact that he/she is not Jewish? Even if the person genuinely has a desire to learn about Judaism and worship Hashem? What are the rights (if any) of a ...
3
votes
0answers
72 views

Should I go to synagogue when I can't focus?

If I am too ill/stressed to be able to concentrate on worshipping G-d, should I still go to synagogue? Is there an official ruling on this? I'm worried that I might be disrespecting G-d by going.
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Does the person who lights the Chanuka candle at Shul make a Shehechiyanu the first night if it's a Friday?

Suppose Chanuka started on Friday night. Everyone lights their Menorah prior to coming to Shul. When the person lights the Menora in Shul he already said Shehechiyanu in his house. Should he say it ...