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Over Shabbos, the Shul in which I davened had a trash bin towards the back. This caused me to realize that I do not think that I have ever seen another permanent Shul sanctuary which had a garbage can in it. I also don't remember seeing a Yeshiva Beis Medrash with a garbage can in it.

I can hear how maybe it would be disrespectful to have a garbage bin in a Shul or Beis Medrash, but it's pretty convenient. Is there any halachic calculation involved in this? Was the Shul that I saw had a garbage can in violation of anything, and do they have something to rely on?

  • Not sure about the kavod tag. – Y     e     z Jan 25 '15 at 19:22
  • The orthodox shul that I daven at has a small wastebasket to the left of the aron. I was a little surprised when I first saw it up at the front, but it is useful for Kleenexes . . . – Mike Jan 25 '15 at 19:40
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    I think most Beis Medrashes I've been to did have garbage cans in them so YMMV. – Double AA Jan 25 '15 at 19:40
  • Do you mean in the building at all, or just in the davening/study area? I've definitely seen them in entry halls and stuff like that. – Monica Cellio Jan 25 '15 at 19:48
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    Almost every shul I've been in has had garbage cans for tissues and stuff in it. I don't recall what was in most batei midrash I've been in, but there certainly have been a few that have had them. – Shokhet Jan 26 '15 at 1:46
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Hmmm ... pretty much as I suspected and said n my comment. See here and refer to reference #31.

One should not throw garbage such as candy wrappers or tissues on the floor of a shul. There is an uncertainty if one has to pick up garbage that he sees on the floor of the shul. It would seem that the right thing to do is to pick up the garbage from the shul’s floor. One should keep the garbage cans outside of the shul.

Source there says:

Opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita quoted in Bais Yehuda 16:12:footnote 7. It is permitted to place mice traps in a shul (Bais Yehuda 16:8:footnote 13 quoting the opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita).

The ending has me wondering, though. If you catch the mouse and you're davening with a dead mouse in the trap .... isn't that a problem?

  • I think it's a problem only if it smells, or if you touch it; CYLOR. – Shokhet Jan 26 '15 at 2:54
  • @Shokhet - I'm inclined to agree, but seeing a dead mouse is gross. Of course, I guess it's far worse than having a live one running around the shul ... unless it's wearing a kippah :-) Of course, it could be a Muslim in disguise and someone could say "Alahu Akhbar" :-) :-) – DanF Jan 26 '15 at 3:05

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