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15
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1answer
242 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) ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Jewish-themed Open Source projects

I am a programmer and would like to begin contributing to an Open Source code base. What projects related to Judaism are under active development?
11
votes
1answer
228 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
0answers
89 views

Why are Ashre and Alenu considered communal prayers?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 65) says to say "Sh'ma" with the congregation when they say it, and Mishna B'rura 9 there says the same is true of other things recited as a congregation such as "Ashre" and ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

Pasuk about community service

I'm looking for a pasuk to pay tribute to a couple being honored for their service to both my local community and the greater Jewish community. Does anyone have one I can use?
4
votes
2answers
104 views

When should one change one's Minhag with one's Makom (and when should one not)?

I know there are conflicting views on certain issues relating to following a local custom vs. one's family custom. However, what are the general concepts that are applied in determining the Halachah? ...
4
votes
2answers
124 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

Examples of Destruction of Idolatry in a Pagan Land

Idolatry is a great abomination which G-d wants abolished or nullified, hence I want to know whether the believing people of the past took an action against it even if they were in the minority. Are ...
8
votes
2answers
167 views

Obligation of community to support those who study Torah?

Is the community obligated to support financially those who study Torah all day long? Is one allowed to request such support from the community based on his choice to study full-day and not make a ...
3
votes
2answers
204 views

Was Lot, himself, sodomized when he first moved into Sodom?

In Genesis 19, Lot defends the angels who came under his roof against the demands of the local men who want a chance to sodomize the three visitors. From the Torah's description, and Rashi's take on ...
11
votes
3answers
301 views

How did Mordechai get *all* the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days?

My question is a bit long-winded so I'll summarize first: How did Mordechai rouse the will of all the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days? And further, why did Esther limit her request ...
5
votes
0answers
53 views

Can a synagogue appropriate the contents of charity boxes not removed before a specified time?

There are lots of charity boxes from different organisations put out on a table in the foyer of our synagogue on Purim. The wardens have attached a note that says that boxes not taken away by the end ...
6
votes
1answer
161 views

What opportunities do Orthodox women have to learn and participate in their communities outside the home?

I've visited several Orthodox communities but never been part of one. One of the things that has always been a stumbling-block for me is the role of women. Here are two things I've observed about ...
7
votes
2answers
506 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Should the Shliach Tzibur say end-verses quietly to himself before saying them out loud?

The Shliach Tzibur reads most prayers quietly until (about) the last verse, and then reads the last verse out loud (either for the congregation to follow along, or for them to answer Amen). Should the ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

Should the leaders of Jewish organisations be elected or appointed?

Organisations, including synagogues, are set up by people with common interests or concerns. As such organisations develop, they need to provide for their future leadership. Are there sources that ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Can a person forbid with a vow his portion of a jointly owned item?

Orach Chayim 153 (15) says that a person cannot forbid with a vow (assur) his part of the synagogue or the books in it. If he did make such a vow, it is ineffective. MB [87] explains that this is a ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Why do modern siddurim not break up the Shabbos Mussaf Kedusho at “להיות לכם לאלקים” as we used to do?

In the Kedusho in Musaf for Shabbos, the custom in nusach ashkenaz used to be that the chazzan would stop at the words “להיות לכם לאלקים” and the community would answer “אני ה" אלקיכם”. The custom ...
10
votes
2answers
258 views

How important is it for everyone to revolve the bima 7 times on Simchas Torah?

I recall hearing from Rabbi Hershel Shachter that for Hoshanos, you're really supposed to go around the bima (and seven times on Hoshana Rabba); he said if you were davening at home, you should in ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Parameters for brov am?

What are they parameters of brov am hadras melech? is it a requirement or a hiddur? does it apply equally to men, women and children? why does it not seem to apply to zimun (preferable to split into ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Shnayim Mikre during Krias HaTorah

May one read "Shnayim Mikre V'Echad Targum" during the leining of Krias HaTorah on Shabbos morning?
14
votes
3answers
131 views

Falling behind during selichos

Related to, but not duplicating Falling behind during davening, how should you attempt to keep up with overly-quick recitation of selichos? I would assume that you interrupt the piyut you’re reciting ...
9
votes
2answers
166 views

When there are four aveilim (mourners), Is it better to have one minyan of 40 people or 4 minyonim of ten each?

Today I was in a shul where there were four parallel mincha services because four mourners wanted to lead the services. I thought there was a principle of ברב עם הדרת מלך? What sources are there that ...
7
votes
0answers
90 views

If one says “Kiddush Levana” alone, does one say “Sholom Aleichem”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Shalom Aleichem in Kiddush Levanah If one says "Kiddush Levana" alone, does one say "Sholom Aleichem"? Since there is no-one to answer, it does not seem to make sense. ...
7
votes
1answer
81 views

Agudath Israel not in the Conference of Presidents

Does anyone know why Agudath Israel of America is not a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations?
9
votes
3answers
219 views

How to respond to excessive talking in a synagogue

If there is a lot of talking (or other halakhic impropriety) in a synagogue, what are some of the considerations that go into the decision regarding what to do about it? Here are some ideas of what ...
10
votes
4answers
306 views

Keeping up with fast davening

My local shul in Johannesburg, South Africa is traditional with very few Yeshivah-background or even Shabbat-keeping members. They daven so fast I simply cannot keep up. Even if I skip most of Pesukei ...
9
votes
3answers
259 views

Falling behind during davening

If you daven more slowly than the chazzan, should you skip what someone who came late to davening would skip so that you can reach barchu with the tzibbur?
5
votes
1answer
125 views

Davening Chazaras Hashatz after minyan

I have seen people daven chazaras hashatz after a minyan has just ended out loud,and they expect everyone to answer their kedusha and then they continue the rest of their shmoneh esri quietly. Is ...
6
votes
2answers
213 views

Saying korbonos

Do you have to say korbonos? If so, why is it not said with the shaliach tzibbur?
8
votes
3answers
255 views

Can one say Vayechulu Friday Night alone?

If one Davened an extra-long Shemoneh Esrei, and missed saying ויכולו... with the congregation, can he say it by himself? Or must he say it with someone else?
7
votes
2answers
104 views

Do you add in the “for all the Jews in this town” clause to Eruv Tavshilin?

In the Eruv Tavshilin we say when there's holiday followed by Sabbath, the proclamation is: This eruv ("merging") shall allow us to cook, bake, insulate, and kindle on the holiday in preparation ...
7
votes
2answers
153 views

Games (on Shabas) that involve writing: whose writing?

I don't have good sources handy, but apparently some forbid the Shabas playing of games in which one usually writes, even if playing without writing: Scrabble, in which one writes scores, is sometimes ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Deliberately planning to do work for the community on Chol HaMoed: Is it allowed?

We are setting up a new (money) Gemach. To register as a charity, a bank account is now needed. We were told of this on Thursday around noon. We were unable (too busy getting ready for Yom Tov) to get ...
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

And let who say Amen?

In light of this answer, why do we say V'imru amen and V'nomar amen at various points in bentching and davening when saying that passage alone? (eg. bentching by yourself, or oseh shalom at the end of ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

Can the chazzan use the vernacular quietly?

When saying a private portion of the service, such as pesukei de-zimra, may the shaliach tzibur (aka chazzan, or the person leading services) use English, and switch to Hebrew for the portions said ...
7
votes
1answer
150 views

Why have I never seen “Prisoh al shema”?

“Prisoh al shema” A good summary is to be found in a shiur from the The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations ...
6
votes
4answers
267 views

Answering Baruch Hu UVaruch Shemo and Amen while learning

If someone is giving Shiur in the same room as people Davening, do the people learning answer Baruch Hu Uvaruch Shemo and Amen to the Hazarat HaShatz?
13
votes
3answers
221 views

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

who says “baruch hu uvaruch sh'mo” before birkas hamazon

Ashk'nazi prayer books generally include the line ברוך הוא וברוך שמו after the zimun (invitation to say birkas hamazon and before the actual birkas hamazon. It generally (in my experience) is ...
10
votes
4answers
390 views

“Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Should the Chazzan say the pesukim of Kedusho loud?

In the repetition of the Amida, it seems (see Teshuvos Igros Moshe 3 (9), OC 104 (7), OC 125 Biur Halocho d.h. "elo shoskin ..") that the Chazzan should say the pesukim of Kedusho loud enough so that ...
7
votes
3answers
611 views

Being Shaliach Tzibbur in a Congregation with a different Nusach

In Yalkut Yosef OC 101:10 rules that a Sephardi who is davening in an Ashkenazi minyan should not daven Nusach Ashkenaz as shaliach tzibbur. He can only be shaliach tzibbur if the minyan agrees to let ...
8
votes
1answer
472 views

When praying alone, can one say Ma'ariv/Arvit before shkia (sunset)?

I have heard in the past that one praying alone may not say Ma'ariv/Arvit until shkia/sunset but that one praying with a minyan can start Ma'ariv as early as Plag HaMincha. Could someone provide me a ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

Leading half the prayers

Assuming one is to follow the congregation's nusach when leading the prayers and one's own otherwise, what should he do if he's asked to lead the prayers from "Shochen ad", and agrees, before the ...
10
votes
3answers
150 views

Is Torah reading an individual or communal obligation?

Is the obligation to read the Torah (or hear it read) an individual or communal obligation? A possible nafka mina might be if one missed the Torah reading -- does he need to assemble a minyan to ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

Saying Yekum Purkan after the Minyan is already up to Av HaRachamim or Ashrei

The Halacha is that a individual not Davening with a Minyan does not say Yekum Purkan. Suppose you are in Shul and for some reason the Chazan finished Yekum Purkan and is already up to Av HaRachamim ...
8
votes
1answer
126 views

Early AND Late Shabbos Minyanim

The basic halachah is that when the congregation/community starts Shabbos (Sabbath) early an individual is forbidden to perform melachah (labor) even though Shabbos has not technically begun. What is ...