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4
votes
1answer
78 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?
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Is a person allowed to sit in someone's reserved shul seat before that person appears?

My shul sells tickets for High Holiday seating. These are paid specific seats for the person who reserved them. Sometimes, outsiders attend the shul on Rosh Hashanna. Our shul doesn't refuse them ...
4
votes
0answers
70 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
59 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
136 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
0answers
109 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
98 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?
3
votes
4answers
450 views

Why is there a Mezuzah in Shul

Why do Shuls have Mezuzahs if they don't need them?
3
votes
1answer
76 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
495 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
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
2answers
120 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
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
146 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
253 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
3k 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
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
28 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
97 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
107 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
102 views

Attending a Bar Mitzvah at a Reform Synagogue

Do any contemporary Orthodox poskim discuss the matter? What potential problems could arise from attending, or from not attending, if the Bar Mitzvah boy is a close relative?
3
votes
1answer
137 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
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?
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
95 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
25 views

Candles by the amud [duplicate]

Why do people light candles in shul by the amud during davening? Is the custom specific to certain groups?
3
votes
0answers
39 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
74 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.
3
votes
0answers
199 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
44 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
86 views

MiSheBerach for someone who doesn't like his/her own name

Another question asked about a case in which someone does not want to use his/her mother's name in a MiSheBerach. What if someone dislikes his/her own given name and goes by a different name? What ...
2
votes
6answers
389 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
273 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
2answers
258 views

Exactly how should the shaliach bow for Barachu?

In every synagogue I have been in, the shaliach zibur has bowed in some way at Barachu. I presume there must be a foundation for this. If so, there should be a correct way to bow. I am seeking clarity ...
2
votes
2answers
183 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
4answers
2k 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
1answer
111 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
442 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
76 views

“Pulpit” on the Bimah

In most Orthodox Ashkenazi schuls, it is customary to have a lectern (the amud) at the front of the room, below the duchan, from whence the baal tefillah leads. Typically, I have noticed that it is ...
2
votes
1answer
123 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
1answer
452 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
109 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
64 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
96 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
89 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: ...
2
votes
0answers
93 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
171 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
147 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
4answers
376 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?