20

Likely, it is an acronym for קְהִילָה קְדוֹשָה k'hila k'dosha (lit: holy congregation), a title for Jewish communities whose use dates back to the Talmud (Tamid 27b).


20

In Lma'an Yishme'u #267 (page 2) Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin says that it is a Halachic obligation to quiet or turn off a cell phone before starting to Daven. If he did not, and his cell phone rings, he is allowed to quiet or turn off the phone to ensure that no one will be disturbed further. Although he doesn't specifically address a situation where it hasn'...


20

You are a very responsible and respectful person for inquiring about whether wearing your current clothes would be disrespectful or not to the synagogue. I really have to hand it to you, not everyone is that respectful. It depends on what day of the week you plan on visiting to the synagogue. If you're planning on visiting during a weekday, then your normal ...


19

I'm not widely traveled, but I've been to a bunch of different synagogues of all the major flavors, often as one-offs, including C and MO, so I'm answering on the basis of that experience. First visit You can just show up. Many of the factors that affect you are the same between Conservative and Modern Orthodox synagogues. The Conservative synagogue you'...


17

Yes. The Jerusalem Talmud (Tractate Megillah) quotes Rav Imi telling his assistant that if a scholar should visit and need to sleep in the Synagogue, he should let him, and allow him to bring his donkey and other objects in as well. This opinion is codified in the Ran in Tractate Megillah. Rav Moshe Feinstein in his Responsa writes, ...


16

It's something like that, based on my observations of my local Reform and Conservative communities. What I notice in particular with the Conservative daily minyan is that there are some regulars, some people who just come to say kaddish, and some people who initially came to say kaddish (for a month or for a year; I don't mean one day) and then stuck around. ...


16

This is actually an interesting question. The Department of the Interior's Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation (in its Historic American Buildings Survey) records (in 1972): The bema, or central reading desk, is surrounded by a balustrade with turned and tapered balusters and a heavy, molded rail. A trap door leading to an escape hatch and tunnel ...


15

Yashar koach on becoming more involved in Jewish life. We can't say what they will do (only they can answer that), but I'll address how you can approach it. You are Jewish because your mother is (and she is because her mother is, etc). Your parents (and grandparents) having had secular weddings doesn't affect that, though it could affect other matters of ...


14

Quite aside from any issues of appearance (which I understand to be quite serious, among the Orthodox, with respect to non-Orthodox services), you will not be yotzei because they will not do the prayers fully and in the manner you expect. Customs vary, but I've been going to Reform services for years and have visited a few different synagogues, and here's ...


13

The Babylonian Talmud (M'gila, page 3 column 1) relates in the name of Ravina: One who is afraid [for no apparent reason] — although he doesn't see [anything], his mazal sees [something]. The commentary of Rashi explains that "mazal" here refers to the person's angel. And the commentary Ben Y'hoyada explains that what his mazal sees (and he's afraid of) ...


12

Refer to Kings I chap. 8 v 41-42. After completing the building of the First Temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon prays to God: "Also to the stranger who is not from the nation of Israel who comes (to visit the Temple) from a far-away land for the sake of your name. For they will hear of your name and your strong hand and outstretched arm and he will come and ...


11

Judaism 101 writes, Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better. The engraving ...


11

In sefardi communities, it is very common for parents to kiss their children, and for men to kiss each other, e.g., as congratulations after an alyah laTorah. That surprised me and I had looked up the halacha. R Ari Enkin writes here on the topic and explains it according to the Kaf Hachaim ruling It is permitted, however, to kiss the hand of one's ...


11

The Rama to Orach Chayim 135:2 writes that if a whole tzibbur missed last weeks laining they should lain both this weeks parsha and last weeks. With regards to a tzibbur missing many shabbasim it is a machlokes. The Mishna Brurah 135:6 brings both opinion. One holds that they make up every single week missed,and according to the other opinion the tzibbur ...


10

I was, for a while, unofficially in charge of my synagogue's library, and we had it organized as follows (as well as I can recall). The guiding principle was that things should be where people will look for them. Sidurim for daily use had their own section. (Sections, really, in more than one place in the room.) The non-standard ones, not used by most ...


10

A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. The term refers to both the building and the institution. You'll also hear the Yiddish word shul, which is actually derived from "school" but has come to mean "synagogue". Some liberal Jews also use the word "temple" to refer to a synagogue. Usually it's used as a semi-proper noun, e.g. "are you going to temple ...


10

I don't know if there's such a system available at the moment but I came across a project on Kickstarter [ JPal ] that aims to automate this process. According to the developers people can create a minyan "on demand" and have users who plan on being in the area notified of the new minyan. The app tracks participants in real time and displays all the ...


9

When I was an aveil (for each of my parents), I changed my seat for the entire year. That is also the general minhag in my shul. This included Shabbosa as my new seat became my makom kavua for that year. After the year I returned to my normal seat. Our shul is somewhat "Yeshivish" on the East coast of the United States (Baltimore). I consider us somewhat to ...


9

פּראָבעה is apparently a Yiddish word meaning "test" or "tryout". See Google Translate. I don't actually speak Yiddish, but the etymology is probably from German Probe (approximately pronounced probuh, per Wiktionary), with the same meaning. It is related to the English probe, with both deriving from Latin probare. I can't answer for historical usage.


9

I wholly agree with Monica's excellent answer, but I would like to point out another phenomenon. Many non-Orthodox Jews go through a portion of their adult lives without giving much thought to religious practice. A traumatic event like the death of a parent can cause them to re-evaluate their lives. They may see the end of the long chain of familial ...


8

JPal should solve this issue. Please check this thread on SE: Davening with a Minyan in China Details: Minyan On Demand let's you create a minyan anywhere in the world and instantly have thousands of users notified. Ideal for international business travels and anyone looking to pray with a minyan where there's no permanent minyan available.


8

The proprietors of goDaven were kind enough to supply me, for the purposes of answering this question, with their table of 5,960 mincha and/or maariv services. I used a Perl script to extract 1,046 where weekday mincha both preceded maariv and was listed as a certain number of minutes before sunset, p'lag, tzes, or candle-lighting time. Because some times ...


8

Tosefta Megila 3:14 says that the elders would sit facing the congregation. As per DoubleAA's comment this is codified in Orach Chaim 150:5. The question is really on the Rabbis that do not do so. Kav Chaim 1 says the reason the front row faces the congregation is since the Bima is in the center of the Synagogue and that is where the Torah is read, that ...


8

Orach Chaim 132:5 Magen Avraham 6 says that one should not walk out of the Shul with his back to the Heichal.


8

Also to the contrary, see Talmud Kiddushin 29b, where the story is told of a demon that attacked people who entered the study hall. הוה ההוא מזיק בי רבנן דאביי דכי הוו עיילי בתרין אפי' ביממא הוו מיתזקי אמר להו לא ליתיב ליה אינש אושפיזא אפשר דמתרחיש ניסא על בת בההוא בי רבנן אידמי ליה כתנינא דשבעה רישוותיה כל כריעה דכרע נתר חד רישיה אמר להו למחר אי לא איתרחיש ...


8

We've had related questions from prospective converts and one that asks specifically how to behave in a particular group's shul. This answer will overlap with answers there, but I'm going to focus specifically on the "Christian visitor" aspect of your question, because even though prospective converts can visit, you might not automatically generalize that ...


8

The Mishna Berurah (124:27) quotes the Elya Rabbah (124:12, that is himself quoting the Kol Bo) that a number of shuls ended up being destroyed on account of talking during davening: מנשוא - כתב בא"ר בשם הכל בו אוי להאנשים שמשיחים בעת התפלה כי ראינו כמה בהכ"נ נחרבו בשביל עון זה.‏ From bearing - The Elya Rabbah writes in the name of the Kol Bo, &...


8

This answer is based on my experience only, which is primarily with Orthodox synagogues. Many synagogues have many members who happen to have completed the requisite course of study and become rabbis, but are not employed by the synagogue and work as, for example, accountants or bootblacks. But you don't seem to be asking about such people, so the rest of ...


8

The Shaarim Metzuyanim Bhalacha page 264 writes that it is lav davaka that he slept in the shul, but rather slept in a room near the shul. Text:


7

The Etz Chaim Synagogue in Chania, Crete has ostrich eggs hanging from its main chandelier (can be seen here).


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