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3
votes
1answer
73 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
489 views

Walking out of shul backwards

When leaving shul after davening, I've seen some people walking out backwards. Is this a halacha?
3
votes
1answer
207 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
2answers
113 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
3answers
230 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
124 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'?
3
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
824 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
125 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?
3
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

The “Canon” - Basic Seferim 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
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?
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
83 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
0answers
33 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
58 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
55 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
174 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
5answers
329 views

Yotzros and Musaf for the 4 Parshios

Are there any Nusach Ashkenaz Shuls that say Yotzros or Musaf on the weeks of the Four Parshios?
2
votes
1answer
250 views

Is getting an aliyah and Bar-Mitzvah laining needed

Is it needed to get called up to the bimah and, also is it needed for you to lain from the torah on your Bar-Mitzvah?
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
169 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
103 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
1answer
404 views

Bringing a gun into a synagogue

Can you bring a gun into a synagogue? (The question is in reference to Israel.)
2
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
385 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
97 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
90 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
0answers
83 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." ...
2
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
62 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
120 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.
1
vote
3answers
277 views

How Can One Know If A Synagogue is Orthodox or Modern Orthodox?

I've looked on the websites and, other than just going in and asking each and every local synagogue, is there some easy way to know if an orthodox synagogue is Modern or Traditional?
1
vote
1answer
63 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
70 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
3answers
215 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
107 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
142 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
99 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 ...
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" ...
1
vote
2answers
41 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
131 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
54 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?
1
vote
0answers
41 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
43 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 ...