Thursday, April 19, 2018

Where Should I Sit in Shul?

Anywhere you want. Sorry, if you were hoping for a more detailed answer. This was an actual Google search term for my blog, and I thought it was an excellent, practical question.

Like all places, the front is usually less crowded, but if this is your first visit, you probably don't want to be front and center.

If you're going to shul for the first time, there's no way you're going to be able to predict where other people sit. People like sitting in the same seats day in and day out, and there's actually some halacha that says that's a good thing. But one week won't kill 'em. And if they hassle you, I know how embarrassing that is. But it's a reflection of them and their lack of character/middot, not you. Guests do the best they can, and people should know that. (This is especially true for seats in the back and at the end of rows; people should know better those are always up for grabs to the first taker.)

If someone doesn't treat you right, please don't let them turn you off from going back. I let other people do that to me before, and the only person that punished was me. I let those people bring me down once, and then I let them bring me down again every time after that when I refused to go for fear of being embarrassed again. This is one of my bigger Jewish regrets. Don't be me.


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