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

12 03, 2024

Mechitza Construction with Bima in Between the Men’s and Women’s Sections

March 12th, 2024|Keriat HaTorah, Mechitza, Minyan, Orach Chayim, Synagogue, Tefillah, Women|


Washington, DC

Question regarding the construction of a new mechitza:

We have a chapel that seats 115 people. It opens from the back, straight into the middle aisle. The seats are distributed equally on both sides of the aisle, and the bimah is at the front of the room in the center. Our old mechitza for the space was 3 panels; two down the middle aisle, and a third to angle around the bimah so that there was a physical separation between the shaliach

28 01, 2024

Drilling Holes Through Verses Etched on a Mechitza

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


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?


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|


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?


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|


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?


If one follows the position that a mechitza functions as a