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27

My Hagbaha Guidelines Make sure there is an empty chair behind you to sit down on at the end Roll the torah to a seam in the klaf sections. This is not to aid the one performing it, but helps if one pulls the Torah outward with too much force in the process of lifting it up, that a tear will occur on a seam where it can be repaired instead in the middle ...


22

Based on the Sefer ha-Hassidim there was a belief that the souls of the dead would pray in the synagogue at night when no one was around... based on that it appears that the belief arose in Eastern Europe that placing the key to the synagogue beneath the pillow of the goses would help his soul escape the body as it would be stirred to join up with the other ...


16

The following answer is based on my experience in Orthodox, Ashkenazic congregations, primarily in the United states, and incorporates elements from other answerers. I am marking this answer as a "community wiki," which means that anyone with 100 reputation points can edit it, so people with experience in other communities can provide their perspective. To ...


15

Likely, it is an acronym for קְהִילָה קְדוֹשָה k'hila k'dosha (lit: holy congregation), a title for Jewish communities whose use dates back to the Talmud (Tamid 27b).


14

Well, here's what comes to mind. Bowing is not reserved for G-d. There are many cases in the Bible when prominent Jews bowed to kings such as the prophet Natan bowing to David (Melachim 1:1:23) and Yosef’s brothers bowing to Yosef (Breishit 42:6). Even Avraham (Breishit 18:2) bowed to strangers whom he suspected of being idolaters (Rashi to verse 4). ...


14

The Rema 139:11 says To say Chazak from the passuk in Yehoshua that says Chazak vametz .The passuk before it says that Torah should not leave your mouth and it will be a blessing for you. So there are those who say Chazak u'baruch and others answer Chazak vametz. The Kaf Hachaim 139:56 brings down the minhag to say Chazak U'baruch from this Rema.


14

I'm not widely traveled, but I've been to a bunch of different synagogues of all the major flavors, often as one-offs, including C and MO, so I'm answering on the basis of that experience. First visit You can just show up. Many of the factors that affect you are the same between Conservative and Modern Orthodox synagogues. The Conservative synagogue ...


14

In Lma'an Yishme'u #267 (page 2) Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin says that it is a Halachic obligation to quiet or turn off a cell phone before starting to Daven. If he did not, and his cell phone rings, he is allowed to quiet or turn off the phone to ensure that no one will be disturbed further. Although he doesn't specifically address a situation where it ...


13

I would suggest sitting towards the front, or somewhere near the amud. Most of the talking usually takes place towards the rear of the synagogue.


11

Rav Moshe in his Igros Moshe EH 2:17 second paragraph he seems to make it clear that for davening it is for sure assur, and even when it is a wedding an Orthodox person should not go. This tshuva was regarding Conservative synagogues; I am guessing that all the more so this would apply to Reform.


11

Rabbi J.H. Henkin has an excellent essay, going from the Talmudic sources to his interpretation of modern-day requirements. I strongly recommend you start there. (Link is to Google Books; many good libraries have this book in English. I believe this essay is based on material he's previously published in She'elot UTeshuvot Bnei Banim, which is available as ...


11

Indeed, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l (sicha of Shabbos Parshas Ki Tisa 5741 secs. 55-57) called for them to always be depicted as square, in keeping with the Gemara you mentioned. (And Chabad publications long before that, as far back as 1942 at least, followed the same convention.) He states that shape with rounded tops was popularized by non-Jewish ...


11

The luchot are a 1 amah cube of sapphire (6x6x6 tefachim) (Baba Basra 14a) 3x6x6 tefachim individually (Baba Basra 14a) The writing filled each side ("tradition". I think I saw this in a Gemara too) There are more words in the first 5 commandments, so the letters were a smaller size to fit.(Mabit) The letters were carved straight through the luchot. (Shmot ...


11

Judaism 101 writes, Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better. The ...


11

Quite aside from any issues of appearance (which I understand to be quite serious, among the Orthodox, with respect to non-Orthodox services), you will not be yotzei because they will not do the prayers fully and in the manner you expect. Customs vary, but I've been going to Reform services for years and have visited a few different synagogues, and here's ...


10

(This answer has been moved from the comment section and reworded a little bit.) I would recommend going to a Saturday morning service over a Friday evening service for a first time experience. Friday evening is very sweet but short, and you won't really be able to get a good sense of what a service is all about. Plus, you get to see the Torah Reading ...


10

Eliezer Eisenberg here, author of that post. The source is the Mekor Chaim, written by the author of the better known Chavos Yair, Rav Yair Bachrach, in Orach Chaim 151:5. I generally included citations, but I wanted to avoid that sort of thing in that particular post.


9

Nusach Ari (as arranged by R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi) counts it before Aleinu. Shaar Hakollel (49:7) explains that this way, the kaddish recited after Aleinu also covers the chapter of Tehillim (Psalm 67) and the verses from the Torah (Lev. 23:15-16) recited after the sefirah. Mishnah Berurah (489:2) gives another reason: this way it's done as early as ...


9

The Nitei Gavriel - Purim Perek 11 #4 brings from the Yalkut Avraham Siman 686, that the Minhag was to put the משנכנס sign over the Zecher L'Charban area, since it is a Zeman Simcha. Regarding hanging a Mishenechnas sign in the Shul - see page 262 - that the Minhag was to hang it on the Western wall of the Shul - where often that is where the entrance is. ...


9

Refer to Kings I chap. 8 v 41-42. After completing the building of the First Temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon prays to God: "Also to the stranger who is not from the nation of Israel who comes (to visit the Temple) from a far-away land for the sake of your name. For they will hear of your name and your strong hand and outstretched arm and he will come and ...


8

In the back of the Chumash Shai LeMorah, a list and hierarchy of the the people who are obligated to receive an Aliyah to the Torah. He adds parenthetically as follows: It is written in the Sefer Avodat Hakodesh of the Chida Z"l that there is a custom in Eretz Yisroel that someone whose wife enters her 9th month of pregnancy should be careful to do the ...


8

Chabad Houses As I understand the Shul is generally owned by the Shliach (he sets up a (or uses an existing) non-profit for the legal aspects, but it's almost completely in his hands). This is done for several reasons: AFAIK, most shuls generally exists by virtue of the community. Baalei Battim who live in a certain neighborhood make a shul, then they ...


8

There is no actual halakhic obligation for even a Jew to wear a kipa. The brakha in the morning (which is to be recited upon doing the action) "`oter Yisrael batifara" is recited upon wrapping a turban. See Mishne Torah hilkhoth tefilla pereq zen. Over time in Ashkenazi galut, various customs changed and wearing a kipa became the accepted practice. This is ...


8

In this shiur by Rabbi Yonason Roodyn (17:26) he quotes the Rif that can be taken to mean that there is an obligation for gentiles to cover their heads in a synagogue.


8

Well, what's reasonably walkable? Probably about 2 kilometers or so. Another significant factor -- if the synagogue's neighborhood has an eruv, it's reasonable for a rabbi to expect people to move within the eruv -- it will be far easier to observe shabbos if you can carry in the neighborhood (especially if most of the locals are used to doing so). Take ...


8

Orach Chaim 132:5 Magen Avraham 6 says that one should not walk out of the Shul with his back to the Heichal.


7

Not really. Jewish law treats a male as an adult as soon as they reach age 13 (assuming they've also had the onset of puberty). There is no official "bar mitzvah" ritual; you're an adult, you're an adult. It's become normal to demonstrate to everyone that the young man is an adult by calling up the fellow for an aliyah (i.e. saying the brachas before and ...


7

In the Men's side as close to the Rabbi as possible.


7

Say Ashrei and continue Lecha Hashem haTzedaka. If a Minyan comes during those points, Chatzi Kaddish is said provided some pesukim were said while the minyan was there. Mateh Efraim 581:17, Elef Lemateh. It is somewhat mashma that when the pesukim end and the main selichos start, you wouldn't say chatzi kaddish. If a minyan didn't come until the end, ...



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