This may be an odd question, but is it typically permitted or tolerated for a gentile to pray in a synagogue during "off" hours (I.e. not during Shabbat, morning minyan, or any yom tov)?

Do any Jews pray during these "off" times as well?

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    Berakhot 21a: "If only man would pray all day" – Double AA Sep 17 '19 at 0:53
  • Seems to me to be a duplicate of judaism.stackexchange.com/q/40950/170 – msh210 Sep 17 '19 at 5:24
  • @msh210 I am asking more about the appropriate hours not if I can or not all together. – charles S Sep 17 '19 at 10:15
  • The other question, too, is about praying specifically not during services. See there for answers to your question. I hope they help. – msh210 Sep 17 '19 at 12:51

There is nothing prohibited from either Jews or Gentiles praying in a synagogue at any time of the day.

Some synagogues are open all day if they have administrative offices or if they have Hebrew school / yeshiva or some other communal activities during the day. I should clarify the distinction between the synagogue as the whole building vs. the synagogue, chapel or service room / area, itself. Offhand, in such places, whether you even could pray there depends on building policy.

Example - my synagogue is a large building that is open all day as there are administrative offices, a yeshiva using some classrooms, and occasional community functions. There is a large "main" synagogue that is open only on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. So, there is no way that they would let anyone even enter that room during the week unless it is specifically for something like maintenance or set-up for Shabbat. However, there is also a smaller downstairs chapel that is always open, and, as long as someone is informed, they usually don't mind anyone praying there during off hours.

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    Better first asking the local rabbi... – Kazi bácsi Sep 17 '19 at 16:54
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    @Kazibácsi While I can't think of a halachic basis as to why a Gentile would be prohibited from praying in a shul either during normal davening times or not, it wouldn't surprise me if some rabbis may object to a Gentile doing this in his shul, for the similar idea that some rabbis object to anyone not wearing a black hat and long black robe davening in their shul. Essentially, one has to follow minhag hamaqom. – DanF Sep 17 '19 at 17:59
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    Minhag hamakom ("The custom of the place") is the buzzword here, absolutely. Remember that as a non-member of the congregation, you are a guest. In much of Latin America, non-Jews are simply not allowed in the synagouge, period. (Jews are in fact not even allowed in until recieving a security clearenace). In the United States this is generally not the case, but you do need to ask. – Josh K Sep 17 '19 at 20:34
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    @JoshK I'm glad to hear about the security measures in Latin America. That fact, sadly, contradicts your assumption - "In the United States this is generally not the case, but you do need to ask". Morally, you should ask. Sadly, though, many shuls are freely open with no security or very lax security. This means that just about anyone can walk in when open and not only do they not need to ask, but, no one will notice them, either. – DanF Sep 17 '19 at 20:43
  • @DanF it has its plusses and minuses. I'm not wild that the kinder are under the impression that a shul is supposed to look like a heavily fortified bunker, and the clearence process can definitely drag on, making things inconvenient for out-of-town visitors who don't make arrangements beforehand. On the other hand one does not worry about violence or crime within these bunker beit knessets at all. I can leave my tefillin (which cost close to twice as much as the average monthly wage in Peru) on a table in the Beit Midrash and know they'll be there after a post Shacharit breakfast buffet ;) – Josh K Sep 19 '19 at 3:23

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