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6
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
90 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
1answer
51 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
259 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
138 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
61 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.
1
vote
1answer
126 views

what are the duties of the two gabbaim on the bimah?

One gabba calls people up, is there a term for that? Is there another gabba that instructs the gabba that does the calling up, as to who to call up? I've heard of a situation where one gabba may ...
0
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
880 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. ...
3
votes
0answers
161 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Do we embarrass someone in cheirem?

Let's suppose that someone in a community has been put in cheirem, for whatever reason. This would generally ban him from the community shul. Should this person show up in the community shul, however, ...
8
votes
1answer
99 views

Source for shuls flying in yemos hamoshiach?

My son mentioned to me that he learned in school that when Moshiach comes all the shuls (and schools?) will miraculously fly to Eretz Yisroel. What is the source of this idea?
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How should the items on the noticeboard in the synagogue be arranged?

On a board where the name of the week’s parsha and the relevant additions in the prayers are displayed as shown here for example, is there an order of placing the items accepted by halacha or minhag? ...
10
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Men davening in the women's section while they catch up

A seemingly knowledgeable guy who davens with me early each morning is sometimes found in the women's section (which is usually empty during that service). He says that he learned that from a ...
4
votes
5answers
245 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
32 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Standing for MiSheBerachs and certain other communal Tefilloth

In many congregations (especially the YU/OU/Young Israel affiliated) it is customary - sometimes even announced from the podium - to stand for the prayer for the State of Israel and the Israeli armed ...
5
votes
0answers
53 views

Can a synagogue appropriate the contents of charity boxes not removed before a specified time?

There are lots of charity boxes from different organisations put out on a table in the foyer of our synagogue on Purim. The wardens have attached a note that says that boxes not taken away by the end ...
3
votes
2answers
112 views

Why do some synagogues offer kidush and others not?

Some (orthodox) synagogues in the United States offer kidush after Shabas-morning services every week; others do not. Is this division roughly along 'type' of synagogue? For example, do most Young ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Can you use the bimah as a shortcut?

I read online that one cannot take a shortcut from one area of the shul to another if it cuts through the area of the bimah. The pertinent line is: Just as the Mizbeiach was elevated, our Bimah, ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

Can you daven with minyan when you have the flu?

Are you allowed to go daven with a minyan when you have the flu or other highly contagious illness? Is it considered potentially damaging someone else's health, or are the chances of someone else ...
0
votes
1answer
316 views

Is there Moses Seat in Synagogue?

Is there a Moses seat in Synagogue ? I know about the Chair of Elijah but I came to know there is also Moses Seat please confirm.
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Are Shiurim (Classes) for Women common in Orthodox Synagogues?

Is it quite common at most Orthodox shuls for there to be a women's shiur presented by a female? What topics would generally be discussed?
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Is mundane speech allowed in shul?

Does anyone know the halacha regarding if one is allowed to talk in shul (divrei chulin) I'm not referring to times of prayer, but general even after prayer. Seems that mundane speech is forbidden ...
5
votes
3answers
431 views

What is the origin for Reform to call their synagogues a “Temple”?

Why does Reform typically call it a Temple, vs a Beit Knesset, a Beit Sefer, or a shul? I imagine the Hebrew would have been the obvious go to, if they chose to ignore the yiddush. Not that I know ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

If no-one went to synagogue on Friday night, do the people at home sing “Sholom Aleichem”?

The Ashkenazi custom is to sing “Sholom Aleichem” when returning home on Friday night from the synagogue. The reason is related to the ministering angels who accompany a person home on Friday night ...
7
votes
2answers
487 views

Can a convert become a synagogue president? Why or why not?

I understand that the National Council of Young Israel has a rule that women and converts may not be elected president of a Young Israel synagogue. I think I saw a gemara -- or a comment to a gemara ...
10
votes
1answer
119 views

If a mourner comes to services late, in the middle of the kaddish, has he missed that kaddish?

I'm saying kaddish for my mother-in-law. Occassionally, I walk into shul and the congregation is already in the middle of the Rabbi's Kaddish (say at Y'he sh'may raba"). Can I join in that kaddish at ...
5
votes
1answer
110 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
204 views

Is there a source for the custom of a Baal Teshuva not to sit in shul but rather to stand?

I have observed a number of people who have completely changed their lifestyle from irreligious to observant (whom we now call “baalei teshuvah”) standing for all the davenning and even for the ...
2
votes
1answer
83 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: The person lighting faces south and the first candle is as ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

A good translation of “bimah”

What is a good translation of the word "bimah" (as in both the "stage" generally and the "table" specifically in a synagogue whence the Torah is read) to use with a non-Jew? Altar and stage both seem ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Beit Kneset and Torah study - desecration?

By late antiquity, the "beth midrash" had developed along with the synagogue into a distinct though somewhat related institution. The main difference between the "beth midrash" and "beth ...
1
vote
1answer
172 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
2answers
224 views

My hands are cold in synagogue. May I put them in my pockets? May I wear gloves?

If my hands are cold when praying in synagogue: 1) may I put them in my pockets? Is it just disrespectful, as I was brought up to think, or are there more important issues? 2) may I wear gloves? ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

Moving close to the Shul

How close to the shul would a Rabbi generally require congregants or a prospective convert to move (in kilometers please!)?
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Can a gentile go to Synagogue on Shabbat and what is forbidden on Shabbat for a gentile?

Is a gentile allowed to participate in Shabbat prayers in a Synagogue (of course he/she will not count for a minyan) if they do so in order to gain knowledge of Jewish customs for the purpose of ...
15
votes
1answer
237 views

Do not separate yourself from the community: what exactly is the community?

Hillel teaches in Pirke Avot (2:4): do not separate yourself from the community. I'm not a historian, but I have the impression that at the time he was writing, towns tended to have one (Jewish) ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

Going into Reform Synagogues [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Orthodox Visits to Other Denomination Sanctuaries I have noticed that in the two years that I have spent in the Jewish community, that Orthodox Jews say that they would ...
6
votes
2answers
362 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. ...
6
votes
1answer
120 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 so integral to the service that some Shuls have ushers to keep the doors closed at that time, so that no one may ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

Pirkei Avos on shabbos during mincha?

It seems clear from the Rama, MB, and other sources (as well as from most printed siddurim) that Pirkei Avos is said in the synagogue at Shabbos Mincha as part of the tefillah in the summer months, ...
11
votes
1answer
219 views

In a city with many shuls, how much loyalty do I owe to the shul of which I am a member?

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the origin of hazak u'baruch?

Hazak u'barukh is a phrase commonly said after one does something in the synagogue (e.g., after an aliyah). What is its origin?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Must a publicly owned building be cleaned for Passover?

Is the community responsible to have publicly owned buildings (such as synagogues, batei midrashot and libraries) cleaned for pesach? Does it matter if it will be used or not over the holiday? If ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Why do we have a Ner Tomid in Shul and on what are modern designs based?

It is customary for synagogues to have a Ner Tomid, a light burning always near the front of the synagogue. 1) Why do we have a Ner Tomid? 2) If it is a reminder of the “ner maarovi” which was one ...