Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Time In An Orthodox Shul

Luke Ford writes:

Jane emails: “Do you have any advice for me before I go walking into an Orthodox synagogue?”

* Know that in Orthodox Judaism, men and women pray separately. The more Orthodox the community, the more men and women are separated, not just in prayer but also socially. So when you walk in the door, look for your section and sit accordingly.

* Dress appropriately. For men, that means a suit. For women, that means a dress that falls below the knee and a top that covers the arms, not to mention the jewels. Don’t wear open-toed shoes. Don’t dress provocatively.

* If you enter a shul on the Shabbat, be prepared for such greetings as “Gut Shabbos” or “Shabbat shalom.” Either is fine as a response. On Jewish holidays, prepare such greetings as “Gut yontif” or “chag sameach.”

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