Do any contemporary Orthodox poskim discuss the matter? What potential problems could arise from attending, or from not attending, if the Bar Mitzvah boy is a close relative?

  • @Lee I don't think that's the OP's intended question.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 17:06
  • @DoubleAA No worries. Made an attempt. If s/he sees fit to adjust, then by all means.
    – Lee
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 17:29
  • @Lee of course i thank you for the edit. English is not my first language so i might have some trouble expressing myself Commented May 4, 2015 at 18:55
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    @Emilios1995 thanks for replying. Did you mean to ask what poskim say about it, or were you looking for any advice about how to handle the situation? The first is more narrow than the second. Thanks. Commented May 4, 2015 at 21:37
  • Related to part of a concern, see dinonline.org/2013/05/30/…
    – DanF
    Commented May 4, 2015 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


All contemporary Orthodox poskim are in view that the reform movement, since denying commitment to the Tora is in fact like "raising it's hand against the Tora" (Meirim Yad Be-Toras Israel), hence it is forbidden to attend. The Gmara (Shabes, page 116) states that you are not allowed to enter their synagogue even when they are not davenning.

Most poiskim advise on doing your best to avoid conflict, each case should be considered by itslef. One could pay a private visit, before and\or after the ceremony, bring a nice gift, explain, if relevant why he could not attend or alternatively, find a "good excuse" for not attending, such that will minimize the inconvenience.

One view that is less strict is the Maharam Shik on Orach Chaim (71) who says that in great need there might be a Heter to enter such a synagogue (not during a prayer of course), and he states some conditions to that, e.g. when several enter together etc.

It is of the utmost importance to try our best to keep peace and good relations with all fellow jews, even those who have strayed off the path of the Tora.

If you read Hebrew, you can see more details in the following Q&A

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    The reference to the gemara is a little misleading, because it does not talk about reform Jews there; rather, it discusses houses of heretics who were from Christian sects (cf. R. Hananel). Also, your answer would be better if you cited the three poskim referenced in the link.
    – Aryeh
    Commented May 5, 2015 at 12:49
  • @Aryeh - most poiskim conclude that Reformists share the din of the Minim (which means those who deny the obligation to the Tora) as mentioned in the Gemara. There is no limit in the definition of Minim to those who follow a Christian sect Commented May 5, 2015 at 13:18
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    Then make write that explanation. The syntax of your sentence makes it sound like the gemara is literally discussing reform Jews, when you are saying that poskim are applying the gemara's principle of minim to reform Jews.
    – Aryeh
    Commented May 5, 2015 at 13:44
  • @Aryeh - for an observant Jew, if the poskim say so, it means that is what it is. Commented May 6, 2015 at 6:09

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