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 main prayer room is always used.

Other synagogues have a main prayer room used on Shabasos, holidays, and on certain other occasions; on weekdays, however, prayers are held in a smaller room, often called the "chapel" or the "bes midrash", and the large prayer room goes unused.

Obviously, acoustics, demographics, and other pragmatics might influence whether a given synagogue is of the first type (described in the first paragraph) or of the second (described in the second paragraph). I am wondering whether there are also halachic or philosophical issues that affect this choice: do, for example, synagogues of the first type follow one halachic ruling or moral teaching, and those of the second type follow another?

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    Often it is done out of practical, not philosophical considerations. Not to heat or air condition a large congregation when there are not that many people. Dec 26, 2011 at 18:35
  • @GershonGold, yes, I mentioned as much in my question, which then went on to ask whether there are halachic or philosophical considerations also.
    – msh210
    Dec 26, 2011 at 18:55
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    Some shuls hold that everyone should come to minyan everyday, others hold that most people are patur from minyan during the week.
    – Double AA
    Dec 26, 2011 at 21:44
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    @DoubleAA, is that a joke? If not, a source please. Jan 27, 2014 at 0:51
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    There is a concern expressed in B'rachos about davening in an open space, from which the Aroch Hashulchan 90 extrapolates the principle that if one has a choice between two differently enclosed davening places one should choose the one less prone to distractions, which tends to be the more enclosed one. In some dichotomous room situations like the one described I've seen the smaller room be [near] more of an open/trafficked one, in which case this principle could influence the decision.
    – WAF
    Jun 22, 2018 at 5:50


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