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Bais HaVaad on the Parsha, Parshas Trumah

Holy Ground

Excerpted and adapted from a shiur by Dayan Yehoshua Grunwald

February 23, 2023


And they shall make Me a Sanctuary—so that I may dwell among them…

Shmos 25:8

Many mefarshim derive from this pasuk a mitzvah to build the Bais Hamikdash. Although we do not have the Bais Hamikdash today, some Rishonim hold that the kedushah of our shuls and batei medrash is mide’Oreisa, like that of the Bais Hamikdash (Yerei’im, Smak). Even according to the Rishonim that disagree and maintain that it’s  mideRabanan, it is clear from the Mishnah and Gemara (Megillah 28a-b) that one may not eat, drink, speak words of chulin, or engage in kalus rosh (levity) in a shul.

According to some, eating, drinking, and speaking words of chulin in shul are always forbidden. But many today rely on those that permit talking briefly about mundane topics based on the view of the Ramban that a stipulation made when the shul was built limiting its kedushah is effective (see Aruch Hashulchan O.C. 151). But the lenient authorities agree that one may not engage in a longer discussion or a meeting about one’s business.

Many poskim maintain that one may not eat in a shul at all, but there is a basis to be lenient while studying Torah (Piskei Teshuvos 151), or if eating to perform a mitzvah like kiddush, a Shabbos meal, or another seudas mitzvah (see Igros Moshe O.C. 1:45). All agree that one may not eat in shul just for convenience. And all agree that kalus rosh in a shul is forbidden.

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