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Synagogue Questions and Answers

Why Do Torah Scrolls Have Silver Crowns?
The crown serves as a reminder to strengthen our commitment to fulfilling the mitzvahs of the Torah.
Why Is the Torah Podium in the Center of the Synagogue?
The placement of the Shul Bimah
What is the role and function of the synagogue rabbi?
What is the function of a rabbi? What is his purpose and mission? What is he there to accomplish? I would imagine that if you would ask three different rabbis you would probably get three unique responses.
What Does
I have always understood that the word aliyah refers to being called up to the Torah reading at the synagogue. But yesterday, a friend told me that he is making aliyah. He explained that “making aliyah” meant moving to Israel. Could you enlighten me on what the true meaning of the word is?
The Stopping Points in the Public Torah Reading
The Division of the Aliyahs in the Weekly Parsha
As a regular attendee of Shabbat services, I know that the weekly Parsha is not read from the Torah scroll in one go, but is divided into seven portions, with seven different people called up to the Torah for an aliyah. I am wondering when the aliyah portions were divided and by whom?
What Does Chumash Mean?
The word chumash is derived from the Hebrew word chomesh, which means a fifth.
Why is There a Curtain Covering the Ark in my Synagogue?
The parochet on the aron kodesh
Ever wondered why the ark in your synagogue has two coverings – a door and a curtain?
Does My Synagogue Need Another Torah Scroll?
Should a family donate a Sefer Torah in memory of a loved one?
What Is the Difference Between a Sidra and a Parshah?
It was never clear to me why some call the weekly Torah reading parshah and others call it sidra.  Are these two words synonymous?
Will the Synagogue Ever Go Virtual Reality?
Why a metaverse minyan is not okay
Who Invented the Synagogue?
Is it true that there is no mention of the synagogue in the Torah? It’s hard to imagine “Judaism”—at least as we know it today—without synagogues!
Why Do We Lift the Torah Scroll?
On doing “Hagbah” with the “Sefer Torah”
Is there a specific reason why we lift the Torah up in the air in the synagogue after each reading?
Why do we need a synagogue? How do we build a synagogue? What do we do in one?
What's Your Excuse for Not Attending Synagogue?
At almost every function I attend, a wedding, kid's birthday party or communal gathering, someone comes up to me and says, "Rabbi, do you know why I don't go to synagogue...."
Synagogue Etiquette
The synogouge is a holy place some laws on how one should conduct themselves
Services Every Week?!
I go jogging every Friday afternoon and often pass your synagogue. I see you are getting some nice crowds. To be honest I don't see why people go to services every single Shabbat.
Women in the Synagogue
An Answer to the Controversy
The issue is even more baffling than you think. Most of the guidelines for prayer, we learned from a lady named Chana who lived about 3000 years ago. Yet all the dominant roles in communal prayer are given to men!
The Rebbe on Allowing Service Dogs In Synagogues
An exchange between the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher, a Polish-born Israeli rabbi and author.
The common assumption is that spirituality and sensuality are mutually exclusive. Who says? Sensuality is not something we are meant to kill. It lies at the core of human spirituality--even of...
Separation in the Synagogue
Why do men and women sit separately at traditional Jewish services?
Looking Over the Mechitzah
A perspective on women in Judaism
“I like to sit next to my husband during synagogue services; that’s why I don’t go to Chabad,” a nice lady told me.
Why Separate Men and Women in the Synagogue?
The Mechitzah Partition
“It is a mistake to think that the Mechitzah is degrading to the honor or dignity of the Jewish woman . . .”
What Is a
The shtiebel is a sort of synagogue, and it comes with its own color, character and cultural nuances.
Why Is the Torah Read at Shabbat Minchah?
Ezra also instituted that there be an additional communal reading every Shabbat during the afternoon Minchah service. Here's why . . .