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3
votes
1answer
183 views

Kissing a child in the Ezras Nashim

It says in the Rema in OC Siman 98 Sif 1 that it's ossur to kiss a child in shul. There are perhaps exceptions to this rule and cases where it would be allowed however that's that it says in the Rema ...
4
votes
4answers
218 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
1answer
119 views

“Meikeh” (fence on the roof) on a shul nowadays

It says in the Rambam that a Beis HaCanases (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 ...
6
votes
7answers
645 views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
12
votes
1answer
418 views

Shul Ravs: What is job outlook like and how much do they make

How much do Shul Rabbis get paid? Are there job opportunities in smaller communities out of New York, for people looking to go into the Rabbinate?
4
votes
1answer
83 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?
1
vote
1answer
31 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
93 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
51 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
269 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
306 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
0answers
71 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." ...
3
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
194 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
3answers
163 views

Is there an aversion to having Gentiles in the synagoge and why?

I've noticed that in some communities being a non-Jew in the synagogue seems to be discouraged. In response to a request to visit I've heard responses as direct as "we don't have a conversion program ...
2
votes
2answers
82 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
52 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
166 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
1answer
107 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Making up a synagogue calendar manually is tedious work. Which software can do the calculations automatically?

The year 2014 starts soon. 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

Is it better to pray at a synagogue where you feel comfortable praying, or to go where your father prays?

This is a common problem with guys living near or with their parents. Do you fulfill Kibud Av Ve'aim and go to shul with your father, or is it preferred to pray at a place where you feel more ...
9
votes
2answers
396 views

I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privatley but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionaly I have driven into a ...
6
votes
0answers
92 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Removing signs from a Shul bulletin board

In many areas Shuls have a bulletin board on which signs are hung. In some larger cities there are sign hanging companies that for a fee, go around and hang up posters for businesses on these bulletin ...
6
votes
4answers
94 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
164 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
137 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
68 views

Best practices for well-circulating Hoshanot

What can a congregation or an individual chazzan do to make the Hoshanot work as well as possible, logistically? I've been to many Sukkot services, especially on Hoshana Raba (HR), in which the ...
6
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
45 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
200 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
54 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
1answer
108 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
697 views

Orthodox Visits to Other Denomination Sanctuaries

Why is it that some people won't set foot in another's sanctuary, even if it was for a non-prayer function? Can an orthodox person be in a reform style temple sanctuary for a lecture or concert? I ...
10
votes
3answers
319 views

Pre-1948, what flags were found in American synagogues?

Certainly throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it was not at all uncommon to see an American synagogue where the Aron Kodesh was flanked by American and Israeli flags. Pre-1948, was there just an American ...
5
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
109 views

forgot birkas hachodesh

If a congregation forgot to say birkas hachodesh on the Shabas before rosh chodesh, should it say it another time? When? (Does it, perhaps, depend on what day(s) of the week rosh chodesh is?) Note: ...
14
votes
1answer
203 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
8answers
566 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
96 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
52 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
802 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. ...
1
vote
3answers
188 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
206 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
55 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
140 views

When to count Sefira

Why do some count the Omer before Aleinu and some after?
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
90 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?
1
vote
2answers
90 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 ...