Rosh Yeshiva Responds
Rabbi Linzer answers halakhic questions from rabbis and community members

28 01, 2024

Drilling Holes Through Verses Etched on a Mechitza

January 28th, 2024|Mechitza, Synagogue, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION


Skokie, IL

We are creating new glass mechitza panels with the text of Kabalat Shabbat etched into them. The engineers want to drill holes in a few panels to install handrails. Some of those proposed holes will be drilled through Shem Hashem (God’s name). Would this be a problem?

ANSWER

Yes, this would be a problem. There is an

12 03, 2023

Families (male and female members) Joining Together during Birkat Kohanim

March 12th, 2023|Birkat Kohanim/Duchening, Mechitza, Orach Chayim, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Paris, France

There is an old French custom in some Sephardic communities to have families stand together under the tallit during birkat kohanim, which implies ignoring the mechitza specifically at this time. We have been asked whether we would allow that over the chagim. What would you advise?

ANSWER

You need to maintain separation of the genders during birkat kohanim, just like the rest of davening.

5 03, 2023

Guidance Regarding Gaps in a Mechitza – Defining the Purpose of a Mechitza

March 5th, 2023|Mechitza, Orach Chayim, Synagogue, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Kevod HaRav, do concepts like gud asik mechitztah1 and lavud2 work for mechitzot in shul? It appears that there will be a six inch gap between a section of our new mechitza and the next section. It is not in an area that is highly visible—only a few people sitting in one spot would notice it. Is this a problem?

ANSWER

If one follows the position that a mechitza functions as a