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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

when is shushing in a shul permited, when forbiden and when obligated

In my shul there is someone who shushes people that talk. He believes that he is obligated to do this. I understand that there is a prohibition against embarrassing people publicly and that sometimes ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

How is the menora lit in the synagogue?

The menora in the synagogue is normally situated on the south side of the synagogue (O Ch 671:7). On which side of the menora is it lit? I can think of two options: The person lighting faces south ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

is woman yoga (exercise) in shul ok

If we take the opinion that yoga is not avoda zorah (I am looking for sources on these questions, I know to ask a LOR) Can there be a woman's yoga class in a shul (not during davening)? Would no ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

First trip to the synagogue! Tips and advice please!

I am preparing for my first trip to a synagogue after the High Holy Days. My first visit will be to a Modern Orthodox Synagogue. I have interacted with the Rabbi by email and we will be meeting ...
10
votes
2answers
162 views

Is it Halachically wrong to avoid the rabbi's sermon?

At some point in our history, the rabbi's Derashah, or sermon, went from being taboo to being so integral to the service that some Shuls have ushers to keep the doors closed at that time so that no ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Making up a synagogue calendar manually is tedious work. Which software can do the calculations automatically?

Lots of synagogues print up a customized calendar every year. (Sample.) Such a calendar includes shul-specific information (e.g. service times and maybe a weekly class or two) and general information ...
13
votes
2answers
912 views

I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privately but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionally I have driven into ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

What is the source for placing two menorot at the front of the shul, one on either side of the Aron?

Many shuls have menorot at the front of the shul on either side of the aron. I understand that basically this is a zecher l'mikdash. However, is there a source for the minhag to place specifically two ...
-3
votes
1answer
90 views

Woman Bringing their little girls to shul

The Birkei Yosef states (regarding bringing children to shul) that “It’s prohibited [for a father] to sit his young child in front of him during tefillah [davening].” (Mishnah Berurah 96:4) Why does ...
8
votes
2answers
322 views

Kissing a child in the Ezras Nashim

It says in the Rema in OC Siman 98 Sif 1 that it's ossur to kiss a child in shul. There are perhaps exceptions to this rule and cases where it would be allowed however that's that it says in the Rema ...
3
votes
1answer
497 views

Walking out of shul backwards

When leaving shul after davening, I've seen some people walking out backwards. Is this a halacha?
1
vote
1answer
152 views

Reform Shul- going?

Can someone of Orthodox beliefs attend services at a Reform synagogue? If so, please tell some things to expect at a Reform Shul different from an Orthodox.
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Shul, Children and Chinuch

Someone once told me parents should not bring their children (i.e. that are below chinuch – they are not capable of being quiet on their own) to shul if they are going to disturb. It is also better ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Washing station where one eats

We have a small synagogue: the room where we pray gets converted into the dining area. The back wall of the room has a washing station already. There is some money to update the synagogue, and some ...
10
votes
4answers
218 views

Online tool for minyan management?

If I'm running a small minyan that sometimes has a quorum and sometimes doesn't, and I'd like to only hold the minyan when I know we'll have ten, is there an online tool to help me manage this?
1
vote
0answers
56 views

How should a shul determine its hashkafa?

How should a shul determine its hashkafa? Is it the hashkafa of the community at large, or the rabbinate - even if they do not always seem to be identical?
3
votes
0answers
40 views

Can a Shul collect payment from one who does not follow specific rules?

In Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places it has a picture of a sign saying that usage of seforim is on condition that one obligates himself to pay $18 to the synagogue fund if ...
13
votes
4answers
568 views

What's a good technique for a not-so-strong person to do [Ashkenazi] Hagbaha?

I've seen many people shy away when asked to do Hagbaha (‏הגבהה‏), thinking themselves too weak. I know for a fact that it doesn't take that much strength to do it correctly, so I'd love to ...
4
votes
1answer
83 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
139 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
87 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
61 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
43 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
241 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
56 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
63 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
30 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
322 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
210 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
114 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
150 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
257 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
51 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
166 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
72 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
150 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
458 views

Why is there a Mezuzah in Shul

Why do Shuls have Mezuzahs if they don't need them?
1
vote
3answers
152 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
101 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
91 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
903 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
652 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
104 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
200 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
60 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
327 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
271 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 ...