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Questions tagged [synagogue]

house of Jewish prayer

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Is there a cell-service “blocker” for shuls?

I've read that many shuls have "cell phone lockers" to encourage people who come for praying to store their phones prior to entering the shul. It's a great idea, but, many shuls don't have this, or ...
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Can we go back to using musical instruments in synagogues when the Temple is rebuilt?

We stopped using musical instruments in the synagogue after the Temple was destroyed, as a sign of mourning. We used them before that time (see Psalm 150). When the Temple is rebuilt, does halacha ...
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How can I eliminate or reduce the musty “sheepy” Torah odor?

I was inspired to follow up on this question that asks about cleaning Torah scrolls. My shul building is about 90 years old. The Aron has 10 Torah scrolls - only 4 of them usable. This ark is opened ...
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Halachic Issues in Attending Bat Mitzva ceremony in Conservative Shul

What are the potential halachic issues involved in attending a Shabbos Bat Mitzva in a Conservative Shul where the girl will be be called up for an Aliya and lain the Parsha? In prior related ...
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Why do some shuls have the Rabbi facing forward?

When I lived in South Africa, every shul I ever went to had the Rabbi's seat facing the congregation. From what I've seen in other shuls in the USA, UK and Australia, the practice seems universal; the ...
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What are the Sephardic responses during weekday shacharit?

During the repetition of the Amidah, during Ata Kodesh, Sephardim say "emet". And during Yivarecha, they say "Yehi Ratzon". However, these may be shared by nusach Ashkenaz, so is there is a list of ...
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Good dimensions for a Shulchan (Reading Table)

I would like to build a Shulchan (Reading Table) for my local Chabad House. I'm wondering how tall it should be at the end where one stands, and at what angle the top should be? Suggestions ...
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When can I attend service (Shabbat) after seminal emission? [closed]

Unmarried, 22 year old Jewish man here. I've been consciously trying to get myself rid of masturbation for a year now. I started to take precautions and I take this fight very seriously now. I put a ...
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When is a mechitza required for separation between men and women for prayers?

When is a mechitza (partition) required for separation between men and women for davening (prayers)? Is this only in a shul (synagogue) or anywhere men are praying? Is there a minimum amount of women ...
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What establishes “kevi'ut” in terms of “makom kavu'ah” (established seat in shul)?

The Tur in Orach Chayim 90, quoting an Amora in B'rachos, says that one should have a fixed location that he always davens, including within a shul. It is often called makom kavu'ah. (I'll abbreviate ...
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Switching back to a seat in Aveilut

There is a practice for a mourner to change his seat in Shul -- there are many different opinions about when and how. If, during the period of mourning, the mourner suffers another loss, so he ...
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According to R' Moshe regarding the location of the Bimah in a shul, what is defined as the “center” of the congregation?

This is based off of my lengthy answer here regarding the location of the Bimah in a shul. As a result of that research, I was left with one question. In that answer, I quote R' Moshe Feinstein in ...
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Can a Bimah be placed on the sides, front, or back of a shul?

In my Yeshiva, the Bimah is somewhat central to the Beis Midrash: several rows of seating in front, then several more rows behind it, the entire column being directly behind the Aron. However, in my ...
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Is a shaliach tzibbur allowed to daven from the bimah instead of the amud?

Terminology: The amud is a lectern located at the front of the shul. The bimah is a raised "platform" from where the Torah is read. It is usually located in the center of the shul. Some Sefardim and ...
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1answer
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Can one establish a minyan in a nursing home?

SA O.C. 90:26 mentions that one cannot say amidah in an area where there is a bad odor such as from feces. There is a nursing home near my home that has a minyan. Occasionally, the hallway gets a bad ...
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Is there any reason why Yizkor, in particular, should be said in shul/with minyan rather than alone?

Is there any reason why YIZKOR in particular, should be said in shul (the synagogue) rather than at home? Why is it common (orthodox) practice that women who almost never attend Shul make an extreme ...
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No kissing one's young children. What about kissing others?

The Rama (Mapa to Orach Chayim 98:1): ואסור לאדם לנשק בניו הקטנים בב״ה כדי לקבוע בלבו שאין אהבה כאהבת המקום ברוך הוא and one is prohibited from kissing his young children in a synagogue, in ...
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When and why was the ark placed at the front of the shul?

Wikipedia states that: In some ancient synagogues, such as the fifth-century synagogue in Susia, the Torah scroll was not placed inside the synagogue at all, but in a room adjacent to it, ...
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Shul closed for a Shabbos. Do they have to repeat the missed sedrah when they get back?

The Rema paskens in O Ch 135 (2)   If they neglected [to be able to hold] the public reading of the parashah, then for the following Shabbat they read that parashah (i.e. the missed one) along ...
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Was there some form of Tefilas Tal before Rabbi Eleazar Ha-Kallir?

Tefilas Tal (and Geshem) were composed by Rabbi Eleazar Ha-Kallir who lived around 570 – 640 CE. How did the synagogue service mark the change from winter to summer and vice versa before he composed ...
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May a shul change its nusach?

I think I had heard or read somewhere in O.C. that a shul must keep its nuscha'ot and minhagim indefinitely. I have, OTOH, seen shul buildings change demographics and sometimes, owners. A shul that I ...
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Changeable page number sign for shul

In the shul (synagogue) I went to growing up, and in other shuls I've been to, they had a device for displaying the current page number. It was a wall-mounted box with three windows, behind each of ...
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Why does one need to give the kiddush wine to a minor when saying Kiddush in shul?

O.C. 269:1 (Sefaria translation in English): It is the custom to recite Kiddush in the synagogue, however, the one who recites does not taste the wine of Kiddush but gives it to a minor to ...
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Why may berachos be recited at a bris while the baby's erva is uncovered?

We know that one is not permitted to make a bracha or say devarim shebikedusha in front of nakedness. Why then is it permitted for the mohel and father at a bris to make their berachos when the baby's ...
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1answer
64 views

What happened to the synagogue in Urmia (Daneshgah-e-Kalimi)? [closed]

My family is from Urmia, Iran. They said there was a very old synagogue there, and they have no idea what happened to it, as they left during the revolution. I was wondering if anyone knows anything, ...
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Davening in boots

Is it Halachically appropriate to Daven in boots when in a Beis Kenesses? A great answer should (in addition to being well-sourced) discuss details such as: Is there a problem in terms of clothing ...
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1answer
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Where did the idea of a shul kiddush come from

In many communities I have been in around the world after mussaf on shabbat there is often a 'kiddush'. This consists of the Rav of the shul (or some other designee) who makes kiddush and food is ...
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Lighting Chanukah candles in shul during Shacharit [duplicate]

Many Nusach Ashkenaz shuls I have entered light Chanukah candles during Shacharit. Someone showed me that this is also listed in Luach Ezrat Torah and he says because of pirsumei nissa. I couldn't ...
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Which minyanim light Chanuka candles?

In addition to the lighting at home, Chanuka candles are lit in shul to publicize the miracle, with the brachot (O"C 671:7). Which minyanim do this? All maariv minyanim in the shul(*)? Just a ...
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How many rabbis does a synagogue have and what is their role?

I am a someone who is interested in Judaism. A question I have is that are there many rabbis which work in a synagogue and if so, what job do they all perform? I know that a rabbi teaches and makes ...
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What do I do if I do not have nice clothes to wear when visiting an Orthodox synagogue?

I would like to visit an Orthodox synagogue in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, I do not really have any "nice" clothes to wear or even a kippah, nor do I really have the money to purchase such ...
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How to walk out of a place that has an ark?

See my answer to this M.Y. question. My follow up question - Are the rules applicable to only a "formal" bet Knesset, i.e. a building established as such? Or is it dependent on the presence of an ark?...
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How to walk out of the synagogue? [duplicate]

I observe that some people leave the synagogue with their face toward the Ark (and not with their back to the Ark) and therefore go out backwards. Where is the source for this and does it depend on ...
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Why do many shuls have both a shulchan and an amud?

Follow up to my question about shul orientation. Why do many Ashkenazi shuls have both a shulchan (this is usually the larger Torah reader's table) as well as an amud (the smaller table used by the ...
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1answer
120 views

Origin of saying Adon Olam or Yigdal at end of prayers

In many Nusach Ashkenaz shuls, there is a minhag to say either Adon Olam or Yigdal at the end of Shabbat / Yom Tov Ma'ariv and many say Adon Olam at the end of Musaph. What's the reason / origin of ...
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Why are the weekday Shacharit chazzan switching locations the way they are? [duplicate]

I'm using Nusach Ahskenaz weekday prayers in this discussion. Based on what I have seen in most shuls, I have seen a shaliach tzibbur switch at these locations: Before Yishtabach - I would think ...
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Davening in shul vs. davening in an avel's home

Two scenarios: 1 - A person has a choice of either being the 10th person for a minyan at either a shul or a mourner's home. Where should he go? Assume that one of these 2 places count on him to form ...
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Why is there a common custom to place white coverings in shul for the High Holidays?

I understand the reason why people wear a kittel (a white "coat") or white clothing on Yom Kippur, and why some people wear it on Rosh Hashanna as well. The common two reasons I have seen are that ...
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Changing the High Holiday shul “look”

Most shuls that I have attended change the parochet (ark "curtain"), shulchan (Torah reading table) and amud (chazzan's table) coverings and Torah coverings to white in honor of Rosh Hashanna and Yom ...
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Lace head covers

Why do some women wear those lace coverings in shul? Is it so that they should not pray or recite berachot without their head covered or is it out of respect for shul? Also, when did this practice ...
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Davening with a Minyan in China

I regularly travel to China (and other countries) for business purposes. I know there are other Jewish travelers who do the same which I sometimes meet on the way. I think that if we have the right ...
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When did weekly sermons become part of the rabbi's job?

Each year on Shabbat Hagadol (the Shabbat just prior to Pesach), our shul rabbi explains that the reason it is called "Shabbat Hagadol" is that it means "The Shabbat of the Gadol" ("The great one"). ...
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Can minhag hamakom allow you to make what is for you a bracha levatala

I have a question about a specific case but it relates to a broad subject so I'm making the question less narrow. Pesachim 101a presents a minhag they used to have to make Kiddush in synagogue. Even ...
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Is there a list of Orthodox shuls in Israel, U.S. and Canada that have choirs regularly?

I've been to 2 shuls that I know have choirs during services on Shabbat & Yom Tov: Spanish Portugese shul in New York City Sha'ar Hashamayim in Montreal Is there a list of shuls, or can someone ...
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Parameters of לא תעשון כן לה' אלקיכם

There is a prohibition to destroy a synagogue based on the verse (Deut. 12:4) לא תעשון כן לה' אלקיכם, "you shall not do so unto the Lord your God." Rambam, in the minyan hamitzvot at the beginning of ...
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Why do we say “Mah Tovu” in the morning only?

Many say the paragraph “Mah Tovu” when entering the synagogue in the morning. See, for example, here and here. מַה טּבוּ אהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקב מִשְׁכְּנתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וַאֲנִי בְּרב חַסְדְּךָ אָבא ...
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Is there a limit to how many people should be on the bimah when the Torah is removed / returned to the ark?

As I understand, only one person needs to be on the bimah to take out one Torah (as on most Shabbatot) from and return the Torah to the ark - the chazzan. Is there a specific halacha that says that ...
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If a Torah ark has “French” doors, which door should be opened first?

Extending this question: Some shuls, such as mine, have "French" doors on the Aron. These are two vertical doors that open "outwards" (i.e., towards you when facing the Aron. Well, if it opened ...
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3answers
180 views

Which direction to open the Paroches on the Aron Kodesh

Inspired by DanF question here. Covering the Aron Kodesh in a Shul is a curtain called the Paroches. One needs to open up the curtain before taking out the Torah. Which direction is one supposed to ...
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Digital Zmanim Displays from Bee Zee Systems [closed]

I noticed digital zmanim displays in many synagogues from Bee Zee Systems and I would like to get a break down of the cost associated with installing such a system. I contacted Bee Zee Systems and I ...