Ethics

For the week ending 15 November 2008 / 17 Heshvan 5769

A Seat in Shul For All

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Question: The shul in which I pray can become very crowded for Kaballat Shabbat services because of the many guests who join the regular worshippers. This often leads to an embarrassing situation when a regular worshipper arrives to find that his seat has been taken by a visitor. What is the right thing to do on the part of that displaced person and on the part of the shul trustees?

Answer: While the regular worshipper certainly has a right to politely ask the visitor to vacate the seat, this is most uncomfortable both for him and the visitor. The only real solution to the problem, one that has already been implemented in some shuls, is to have spare benches that can be set up especially for such occasion. This allows for visitors to find a seat and enables the noble regular who has been displaced and does not wish to embarrass the visitor to at least have a seat for himself.

© 1995-2014 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at ohr@ohr.edu and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to Ethics

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.