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What is the Source For Women and Men to Pray Separately?

  

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Rabbi Shlomo: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

olive: Where does it say that women must pray seperately from men in the Torah?

Rabbi Shlomo: It doesn't say it anywhere.

Rabbi Shlomo: Do you know why?

olive: why?

Rabbi Shlomo: Because it doesn't say anywhere in the Torah that you have to pray in a synagogue.

Rabbi Shlomo: as a matter of fact, it is not clearly stated that you have to pray at all.

olive: oh, thats a good point. So then where does the idea of men and women being seperate come from?

Rabbi Shlomo: it comes from two places: scripture, and practice. Scripture: The Torah tells us that when the Jews crossed the Sea the men sang praises to G-d with Moses1, and the women sang praises to G-d with Miriam2. Additionally, scripture tells us that the Holy Temple had seperate men's and women's sections

Rabbi Shlomo: Practice: Throughout Jewish history, since its inception, there were always careful seperation between men and women as not to lead to illicit practices.

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.

Footnotes

  • 1. Exodus 15:1
  • 2. Exodus 15:20

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Prayer » Laws and Customs

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Miriam
Older sister of Moses and Aaron, and a prophetess in her own right.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.