Questions tagged [synagogue]

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43
votes
4answers
13k views

Should one ask a non-Jew attending synagogue to wear a yarmulke?

It says in Divrei HaRav (by R. Hershel Schachter, p143) that when they asked R. Aharon Kotler whether a non-Jewish secular studies teacher in a yeshiva should be asked to wear a yarmulke, he said he ...
23
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3answers
2k views

Why do we bow down in the direction of the ark?

This is a question I've had for many years, to which I've never received a satisfactory answer: In Hebrew school, we were taught that idolaters bowed to a idol of their god. They would claim that ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

Orthodox Visits to Other Denomination Sanctuaries

Why is it that some people won't set foot in another's sanctuary, even if it was for a non-prayer function? Can an orthodox person be in a reform style temple sanctuary for a lecture or concert? I ...
21
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2answers
303 views

Making the Kohen's Gesture

Is it forbidden for a non-Kohen to form the hand formation that Kohanim use during their priestly blessings?
20
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4answers
2k views

What was the shape of the Luchot?

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HaBrit were square. As a side note, I have seen those "correctly-modeled Luchot" in the Shteblach of Meah Shearim. Where did the common "tablet" ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Killing somebody with the keys to the synagogue

In Yoreh Deah 339:1, the mechaber brings a variety of things that one is not permitted to do to a goses (a person on the brink of death), since each of these things causes the goses to die sooner. ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

What halachic issues are involved in turning off a mobile phone while praying the quiet Amidah?

A person realises during his quiet Amidah, that he has not turned off his mobile phone. He is worried lest it ring while he is praying. On the other hand, turning it off will interfere with his ...
18
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2answers
1k views

Halachot of Shul Mechitzot

What are some good books, articles, websites, or seforim for learning about the Halachot of constructing and maintaining a Shul Mechitza (the barrier between the men and women sections)? Issues ...
17
votes
3answers
991 views

What's a good technique for a not-so-strong person to do [Ashkenazi] Hagbaha?

I've seen many people shy away when asked to do Hagbaha (‏הגבהה‏), thinking themselves too weak. I know for a fact that it doesn't take that much strength to do it correctly, so I'd love to see a ...
16
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6answers
442 views

Online tool for minyan management?

If I'm running a small minyan that sometimes has a quorum and sometimes doesn't, and I'd like to only hold the minyan when I know we'll have ten, is there an online tool to help me manage this?
16
votes
1answer
269 views

Out-of-order minyan participation

Some shuls have several minyanim back to back. If one arrives before the Torah reading of the 8:30 minyan and has finished davening before the Torah reading of the 9:30 minyan (to whose Kedusha one ...
16
votes
1answer
513 views

Do not separate yourself from the community: what exactly is the community?

Hillel teaches in Pirke Avot (2:4): do not separate yourself from the community. I'm not a historian, but I have the impression that at the time he was writing, towns tended to have one (Jewish) ...
15
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2answers
3k views

I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privately but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionally I have driven into ...
15
votes
3answers
445 views

Is it Halachically wrong to avoid the rabbi's sermon?

At some point in our history, the rabbi's Derashah, or sermon, went from being taboo to being so integral to the service that some Shuls have ushers to keep the doors closed at that time so that no ...
14
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6answers
3k views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
14
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1answer
905 views

Shul Ravs: What is job outlook like and how much do they make [closed]

How much do Shul Rabbis get paid? Are there job opportunities in smaller communities out of New York, for people looking to go into the Rabbinate?
13
votes
3answers
427 views

Are Synagogues “holy ground,” offering protection from evil creatures?

I'm not a Jew, but I'm writing a fantasy novel set in medieval Europe, and one of my characters is a Jew. I've got a group of people with diverse backgrounds who've come together to fight a great evil....
13
votes
1answer
15k views

First trip to the synagogue! Tips and advice please!

I am preparing for my first trip to a synagogue after the High Holy Days. My first visit will be to a Modern Orthodox Synagogue. I have interacted with the Rabbi by email and we will be meeting ...
13
votes
1answer
404 views

Why do non-orphans leave during Yizkor?

In all the Shuls (Synagogues) I've Davened in over the years, I noticed that all those whose parents are alive leave the shul during Yizkor. Why is this so?
13
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2answers
454 views

Why Are These Double Parshiyos?

During a regular (non-leap) Jewish year, there are four instances where two of the weekly Torah portions are read together in the same week. This is because there are not enough weeks to read all of ...
12
votes
3answers
309 views

Finding the quiet section of the synagogue

When you enter an unfamiliar synagogue, how do you find a seat in a section that's likely to have the least talking?
12
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6answers
1k views

Ostrich eggs in Shul?

Kinyan L'Shabbos (published weekly by Hamodia) - July 18, 2012, page 11 has a fascinating article by Rabbi Avraham Y. Heschel regarding an ancient custom of displaying ostrich eggs in a Beis Knesses. ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Where does “probeh” come from?

Every time recently that I've heard of an Orthodox congregation conducting a search for a rabbi, the stage at which the rabbi visits the community for a Shabbat and auditions for the position is ...
12
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4answers
5k views

Can a gentile pray in a synagogue?

I am an 18 year old male interested in converting to Judaism, I have been reading the Tanakh amongst other things and have been learning more about the religion. My question pertains as to whether or ...
12
votes
2answers
878 views

What is the origin of giving “Pesicho” to the expectant husband?

What is the origin of the practice of giving “pesicho” (the honor of opening the Ark) to the husband whose wife is expecting a baby?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Joining a synagogue after two generations non-practising

My (Jewish) great-grandparents came to the UK from Poland during the second world war, but due to their experiences of violent anti-semitism, hid their Jewishness from the public in the UK. The result ...
12
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3answers
20k views

Can a gentile go to Synagogue on Shabbat and what is forbidden on Shabbat for a gentile?

Is a gentile allowed to participate in Shabbat prayers in a Synagogue (of course he/she will not count for a minyan) if they do so in order to gain knowledge of Jewish customs for the purpose of ...
12
votes
2answers
853 views

What do I do when asked to “open the Aron” or “take out the Torah”?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
12
votes
2answers
224 views

Did Shuls in Europe display their countries' flags prior to the holocaust?

Prior to the holocaust, did Shuls in Europe display their countries' respective flags? Do Shuls currently display their countries' flags? When did it start and why?
12
votes
2answers
336 views

Auctioning/Sale of Kibbudim on Shabbat / Yom Tov

Many synagogues have the practice of selling kibbudim (i.e. aliyot, haftorah, opening the ark, etc.) on major holidays, usually via auction. I've been to some shuls where this is done every Shabbat. ...
12
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2answers
327 views

In a city with many shuls, how much loyalty do I owe to the shul of which I am a member?

In a city with many shuls, in what way should we think about the individual shuls? a) They are “service” (no pun intended) providers and I will take the services as they suit me best. Even if I take ...
12
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2answers
6k views

What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Touro's Synagogue's trap door

I remember when I visited the Touro Synagogue years ago I vaguely recall hearing about a secret door under the bimah. I don't remember seeing it ,but upon further investigation I found a picture ...
11
votes
2answers
756 views

Catching up the missing weeks of Krias Hatorah

Due to the current health crisis, all shuls are closed. As a result, the weekly Torsh portion will not be read. After this is all over and synagogue services are resumed, will we: Continue where we ...
11
votes
1answer
296 views

Source for shuls flying in yemos hamoshiach?

My son mentioned to me that he learned in school that when Moshiach comes all the shuls (and schools?) will miraculously fly to Eretz Yisroel. What is the source of this idea?
11
votes
2answers
576 views

Do men on the women's side count toward a minyan?

If men are on the women's side of the shul during davening when there are no women there, do they count toward the minyan, or are they considered separate? Does it matter if the women's area is right ...
11
votes
2answers
550 views

What does one do when one needs to bentch gomel?

One who has recovered from a serious illness or accident is supposed to bentch gomel during the torah service. What do you need to know to do this? Specifically: When is the right time -- the first ...
11
votes
1answer
179 views

Can you have a trash bin in shul?

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
175 views

Do you have to consider neighbors when building a shul?

Are there any halachic obligations to consider the averse effects that building a shul may have on Jewish neighbors? This may include things like lowering property value, noise and other disturbances, ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
576 views

Can anyone help me find resources for the content and organization of a shul library?

Our shul library has been neglected for many, many years, and b'h' we are finally cleaning and organizing it. I am used to using a library, not organizing it! So I wonder if anyone can give me some ...
10
votes
3answers
546 views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
600 views

Pre-1948, what flags were found in American synagogues?

Certainly throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it was not at all uncommon to see an American synagogue where the Aron Kodesh was flanked by American and Israeli flags. Pre-1948, was there just an American ...
10
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3answers
364 views

Proper age to take a child to Shul

What is the proper age for children to begin being taken to Shul?
10
votes
4answers
156 views

Torah studies at Synagogue [closed]

How do we make studying Torah by adults a central part of our synagogue?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there an aversion to having Gentiles in the synagoge and why?

I've noticed that in some communities being a non-Jew in the synagogue seems to be discouraged. In response to a request to visit I've heard responses as direct as "we don't have a conversion program ...
10
votes
3answers
24k views

Is it acceptable for a Gentile to attend a service at a Synagogue without intent of conversion?

I'm a practicing Christian getting my master's degree in education, and one of my classes (cultural foundations of education) calls for me to spend time in a culture other than my own. I have a ...
10
votes
1answer
393 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
10
votes
2answers
264 views

If a mourner comes to services late, in the middle of the kaddish, has he missed that kaddish?

I'm saying kaddish for my mother-in-law. Occassionally, I walk into shul and the congregation is already in the middle of the Rabbi's Kaddish (say at Y'he sh'may raba"). Can I join in that kaddish at ...
9
votes
2answers
337 views

Do mourners change their seats in shul today?

The g'mara on Moed Katan 23a says that after shiva, when the mourner stays at home, he can return to shul but does not sit in his usual seat. (According to this g'mara, he returns to his usual seat a ...

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