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0
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1answer
64 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
200 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
330 views

Black Hats During Mussaf

Lately, I have noticed that many people who wear a tallis during davening will deliberately put on the black hat, which they wore on the way to shul, while still wearing their tallis near the end of ...
6
votes
2answers
296 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
446 views

Halachot of Shul Mechitzas

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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Modim DeRabanan - UThHonnenu or UThKayemeinu?

There is a very common poster that I've seen in virtually every Shul I've been in over the past 10-15 years. Unfortunately, I cannot find a photo at the moment. It is a (generally laminated,) white ...
6
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
203 views

Talking during Torah reading

Is one permitted to talk during the communal Torah reading?
2
votes
1answer
372 views

Bringing a gun into a synagogue

Can you bring a gun into a synagogue? (The question is in reference to Israel.)
6
votes
2answers
159 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, ...
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
755 views

Why do we bow down in the direction of the ark?

This is a question I've had for many years, to which I've never received a satisfactory answer: In Hebrew school, we were taught that idolaters bowed to a idol of their god. They would claim that ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
106 views

Why Are These Double Parshiyos?

During a regular (non-leap) Jewish year, there are four instances where two of the weekly Torah portions are read together in the same week. This is because there are not enough weeks to read all of ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
241 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
5k views

Should one ask a non-Jew attending synagogue to wear a yarmulke?

It says in Divrei HaRav (by R. Hershel Schachter, p143) that when they asked R. Aharon Kotler whether a non-Jewish secular studies teacher in a yeshiva should be asked to wear a yarmulke, he said he ...
5
votes
1answer
120 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?
3
votes
1answer
227 views

What kind of Mechitza is required when the women daven on the second floor?

Many times I have seen Shuls where women pray on a balcony on the second floor. What kind of Mechitza do they need? Is it enough if one can't see them (for example, if the angle is such that they ...
0
votes
1answer
265 views

Entering a place where Gentiles and Jews Daven together from a Siddur

Would it be permitted to pray in a place where there are services that are mixed with Jews and gentiles? Meaning, a synagogue that also invites gentiles to pray with the Jews (but they all pray from a ...
8
votes
1answer
364 views

How is a Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue typically owned/governed/directed?

I'm used to an Orthodox Union-type synagogue that has a board, a president, and a rabbi as an employee. How does it work with a Lubavitch shul?
6
votes
3answers
283 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
168 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
4
votes
0answers
101 views

Prayer in a chapel (bes midrash room) vs. in the main synagogue

Some synagogues have a room for prayers that's used on a regular basis: weekdays, Shabasos, holidays. If there are two simultaneous minyanim, then one will be elsewhere, of course, but otherwise the ...
8
votes
3answers
107 views

Torah studies at Synagogue

How do we make studying Torah by adults a central part of our synagogue?
12
votes
1answer
166 views

Out-of-order minyan participation

Some shuls have several minyanim back to back. If one arrives before the Torah reading of the 8:30 minyan and has finished davening before the Torah reading of the 9:30 minyan (to whose Kedusha one ...
8
votes
2answers
120 views

Haftara reading customs

There seems to be a wide range of customs with regard to reading the haftara. In some shuls (mostly Chassidic) the one who is called up recites the berachah, and everyone then says the haftara quietly ...
5
votes
1answer
91 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?
12
votes
1answer
175 views

Why do non-orphans leave during Yizkor?

In all the Shuls (Synagogues) I've Davened in over the years, I noticed that all those whose parents are alive leave the shul during Yizkor. Why is this so?
6
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
350 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?
5
votes
1answer
382 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
121 views

Priority rules for abridging Selichot

If the minyan doesn't have enough time allotted for Selichot to finish everything listed in the Selichot book for today, so you need to cut some parts out, what are the rules of priority for what ...
10
votes
3answers
232 views

Finding the quiet section of the synagogue

When you enter an unfamiliar synagogue, how do you find a seat in a section that's likely to have the least talking?
10
votes
2answers
216 views

What is the origin of giving “Pesicho” to the expectant husband?

What is the origin of the practice of giving “pesicho” (the honor of opening the Ark) to the husband whose wife is expecting a baby?
6
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

Bowing at Modim D'Rabbanan

When the chazan reaches "Modim" during his repetition, the congregation recites "Modim D'Rabbanan." Do members of the congregation bow here? If so, in what manner should they bow?
2
votes
2answers
164 views

Congregational official pronunciation scheme

Is it proper/preferred for a congregation to have an official Hebrew pronunciation scheme, such that they request or demand that people use it for public prayers? Does this concept apply differently ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Kibbudim on Shabbat/Yom Tov

Are there any halachot governing who can and who can not get a kibbud (i.e. opening the Aron , not an aliyah) on Shabbat, Yom Tov, Rosh Hashannah or Yom Kippur? I ask because in our shul we have two ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

What are the Hebrew titles for synagogue functionaries in various communities?

In every Ashkenazic synagogue I've seen, the fellow calling up people to the Bima is called a "gabbai." (Which was originally a Hebrew word for "collector", as in Tzedaka collector; I can see how the ...
5
votes
1answer
270 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
206 views

Making the Kohen's Gesture

Is it forbidden for a non-Kohen to form the hand formation that Kohanim use during their priestly blessings?
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Child Lighting Menorah in Shul

May a Child light the Menorah in Shul being that it is not the real lighting?
4
votes
2answers
103 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?
6
votes
2answers
180 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Is Shabbat prayer more special than Shabbat or prayer individually?

Is there any basis in Jewish law or practice for dressing nicer for Shabbat prayer/synagogue than one does for either Shabbat or for prayer/synagogue? For example, I'm not generally particular about ...