Would it be permitted to pray in a place where there are services that are mixed with Jews and gentiles? Meaning, a synagogue that also invites gentiles to pray with the Jews (but they all pray from a Sidur).

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    Need more details on what you are talking about. You mean like a shul that allows non-Jews to visit? A place where non-Jews are learning to convert?
    – avi
    Feb 9, 2012 at 14:53
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    Is this a specific denomination of Judaism, you're talking about? Is it an interfaith service? Bnei Noah? Please clarify.
    – Seth J
    Feb 9, 2012 at 15:16
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    Please edit the question to specify more what you're talking about. (If your question really is a blanket "If there are any gentiles in a synagogue, does that invalidate the entire synagogue?" please make that clear.) Also, please add information about why you suspect the problem you're referring to (to be specified) could be a problem.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 9, 2012 at 15:27
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    Does the synagogue allow anyone to walk in without determining their ethnoreligious status? (i.e. almost all synagogues) or was there a specific, publicized "interfaith" invitation made for specific Gentiles to join the service? (If it's the latter, I think my original answer still applies.)
    – user1095
    Feb 12, 2012 at 14:42
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    @HachamGabriel OK, at this point, I'm prepared to 1) Re-open the question. 2) Delete Will's answer. 3) Add an answer along the lines of "I've never heard of a shul that checks whether people coming in are Jewish or not, turning away those who aren't, so it must be allowed." Would that be a relevant answer? If not, the question requires more specification.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 12, 2012 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


I've never heard of a synagogue that checks whether people coming in are Jewish or not, turning away those who aren't, so allowing Jews and gentiles to pray together is presumably not forbidden, and therefore, entering a building in which this happens is presumably also not forbidden.

In fact, given that gentiles were invited to bring certain kinds of offerings to the Temple, and entering the Temple certainly wasn't forbidden (at least, not for that reason!), it would stand to reason that synagogues that behave similarly would be treated similarly.

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    +1, but: Re "I've never heard of a synagogue that checks whether people coming in are Jewish or not": I can't find it now, but someone once mentioned in a comment on this site that his local synagogue has a guard that stops anyone who looks like he doesn't belong and ascertains (I don't know how) that he's Jewish before allowing him in. (This, to foil terrorists.)
    – msh210
    Feb 13, 2012 at 15:58
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    @msh210, Jewish facilities in Europe , including synagogues, tend to have guards who do what you say. (I've seen this myself in Paris.) However, as you indicate, the purpose is to filter out potential attackers, not for any Halachic reason. The test would be whether a gentile who comes in the company of a trusted member would be allowed to enter, and I strongly suspect that he/she would be.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 13, 2012 at 16:09
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    This is not to critique your answer, nor the question, but I just want to put it somewhere and it's certainly not a better answer than yours, so I'm just tacking it here if you'll forgive me. I just want to add that I have been to many a family occasion in Shul (B' Mitzvah, etc.) with non-Jewish friends invited, and I've never seen any turned away. I've also seen many prospective Gerim in attendance. All generally pick up a Siddur, if not to actually Daven, then at least to follow along, although the prospective Gerim tend to Daven.
    – Seth J
    Feb 14, 2012 at 2:31

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