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7
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4answers
186 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
122 views

Comprehensive map/list of active Orthodox synagogues in the U.S

Does anyone know of a map or list of all the active Orthodox shuls in the U.S.? When I was looking for which residencies to apply to it was my limiting factor and sometimes it was hard to find out ...
7
votes
3answers
552 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
116 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
211 views

Which rabbi was it who checked a person's identity by asking where he sat in shul?

The story goes something like ... A few days after his wedding, a man disappeared without a trace. Many years later, a mysterious man showed up back in town, claiming to be him. He looked ...
7
votes
2answers
345 views

Saying Baruch HaShem L'Olam without a minyan

Should one say Baruch HaShem L'Olam when davening without a minyan? What if one is davening not in a synagogue but in a home? What if one is davening alone? Practically speaking, the prayer was ...
7
votes
2answers
790 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

Sale of kibbudim on shabbat / chag

Many shuls have the practice of selling kibbudim (i.e. aliyot, hafotrah, opening the aron, etc.) on major holidays, usually via auction. I've been to some shuls where this is done every shabbat. A ...
7
votes
2answers
122 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do many non-Orthodox Jews come to shul regularly only after a parent's death?

I attend a Conservative / traditional shul. Primarily because of neighborhood demographics (the neighborhood is now largely Orthodox), we have tremendous problems forming a daily minyan. It seems that ...
6
votes
1answer
207 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? ...
6
votes
1answer
290 views

Can a service dog enter a Temple during service?

At Rosh Hashanah service today, a congregant brought his service dog with him. He's not blind, the service dog vest said it was for hearing. Is the temple being kind, or are they required to permit ...
6
votes
3answers
708 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
323 views

In an average shul, how long before sunset does a combined weekday Mincha/Maariv service start?

Many shuls worldwide run combined weekday Mincha/Maariv services. How long before sunset do these services tend to start? Please specify a range, measured in "number of minutes". Also, please cite ...
6
votes
3answers
382 views

Can you turn your back to the Aron HaKodesh?

I'm quite certain that it is mentioned in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that one should not turn one's back to the Aron HaKodesh (ark which holds the Torah Scrolls). Can anyone tell me where this is ...
6
votes
3answers
359 views

Bringing little girls into the men's section in Shul

It has become the norm in mosts shuls I've been to, that fathers bring little girls into the men's section of synagogues on Shabbos and Yom Tov. Until what age should girls still be allowed to ...
6
votes
2answers
253 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? ...
6
votes
2answers
217 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
391 views

Do Orthodox synagogues have audio induction loops? Can they use them on Shabbat?

Let's assume we follow Rabbi Moshe Feinstein's ruling that hearing aids are permitted on Shabbat, but microphones are not. What about installing an audio induction loop in the synagogue? It would ...
6
votes
1answer
364 views

How does “shabbat speech-reinforcement” work?

How does the technology for shabas-compliant voice amplification referred to on this architecture firm's website work? Is it different technically from a regular microphone setup or is the distinction ...
6
votes
1answer
416 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
255 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 ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Digital Synagogue displays?

Why do Synagogues use or not use them? Bonus: What are some of the companies that make these digital wall displays for synagogues? How much do they cost? Does anyone know where I can find info ...
5
votes
5answers
382 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

Why do Shuls put up notices saying משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה?

Why do Shuls put up notices saying משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה ? Do we think that a notice will change our mood? And if so, why not put up a notice in Elul saying that the Yom HaDin is coming?
5
votes
2answers
145 views

Is there a correct place for the bima

Some Shuls have the bima in the center and some in the front. Is there any reason for either one? is one better then the other? I heard that R' Menachem Mendel Schneerson, z"l said not to put it in ...
5
votes
4answers
279 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
514 views

Rules for Selichot when the minyan isn't complete at start time

If the shul doesn't have a full minyan at the time when Selichot is supposed to start, and waiting for a minyan to gather before starting is not an option, what are the rules for what you say or don't ...
5
votes
2answers
256 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
64 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)?
5
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

Does the rebbetzin (rabbi's wife) have a special seat in the ezras nashim (women's side of the synagogue)?

Usually the rabbi gets a special seat. I'd seen the Pnei Yehoshua's contract in Berlin 200+ years ago specify a special seat for his wife as well, but is anyone aware of shuls today that do that?
5
votes
1answer
65 views

Is it more preferable to pray with concentration alone or with a minyan in shul?

There's a בית כנסת nearby that has מנינים every half hour between 6:00am until 9:20am. There's another one that has two מנינים, one at 6:40am and one at 7:40am. The בית כנסת that goes later has one ...
5
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
316 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

Are prayers only accepted when offered in a Synagogue?

I've always believed that "all prayers are accepted", at least if they're done correctly and with intention. But I was recently reading through Berachot 6a when I read the following: אין תפלה של ...
5
votes
2answers
65 views

Should you say a blessing on a tallit gadol when you are performing a task in a shul that requires one due to a custom?

Should you say a blessing on a tallit gadol when you are performing a task in a shul that requires it (e.g.: being hazzan for mincha or getting an aliyah during mincha) ? Is there a difference if ...
5
votes
2answers
125 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
119 views

Can a congregant who has been asked to open the Ark, walk in front of the Ark to get to the other side of the 'bimah'?

Can a congregant who opened the Aron Hakodesh walk in front of the open ark and walk to the other side of the platform where the Aron is situated?
5
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Community/Synagogue Honorifics

I visited the Rare Books section of the JTS in New York in Dec. 2009, to view an old manuscript from Kezmarok, Slovakia. I selected certain pages that I was interested in translating, on behalf of ...
5
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0answers
24 views

When does a place become a shul w/r/t saying me'ein sheva Friday nights?

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 268:10 plus commentaries gives the rule that me'ein sheva (magen avot etc) isn't said at a private home, because it lacks the regularity of a shul. If someone has a ...
5
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0answers
40 views

Repeated Hagbah by the same individual

From this question, it's clear that there is a halachic requirement to do a "good" hagbah. This one emphasizes that, by saying that a gabbai who knows the individual can't do a good job shouldn't ...
5
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0answers
20 views

Apartment buildings higher than the shul

Shabbat 11a states that a city in which houses (but not towers or castles/fortresses [unsure about the translation]) are built higher than the synagogue will eventually be destroyed. ואמר רבא בר ...
5
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0answers
173 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." ...
5
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0answers
66 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 ...