Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The synagogue door


We have been learning about synagogue construction.

The entrance to the sanctuary should be directly opposite the Aron [Ark], so that one who enters bows toward the Aron.

Therefore: Since we live west of Israel, and so we bow toward Israel, the entrance to the sanctuary should be on the west wall, and the Aron on the east wall.

(Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 150:5; Mishneh Berurah 150:10, 11)

Have a great day,


  1. In my case, the doors enter from north side of the sanctuary. Should one, upon entry, turn towards the aron and bow?


  2. Hi Michael,
    I'd say it's a good custom, but I would not term it a requirement. Therefore, one who is in a shul where bowing toward the aron upon entering is not the norm should be careful not to bow in an attention-getting manner.