(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 19:27:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Consecration of Synagogues, Torah Status

Brian Jorgensen asks whether synagoes are holy. Yehoshua already answered
him in Torah Forum Voume 4 Number 76. I would like to supplement Joshua's
answers with some further observations:

1) Rav Hirsch points out in his essay on Prayer (reprinted in Rav Hirsch's
collected works, by Feldheim) that Prayer is not a SUBSTITUTE for
sacrifices but rather a COMPLEMENT to them. Indeed, citing Talmudic sources
Rav Hirsch shows that synagogues existed in the Times of the temple (where
eg they read the sacrifice chapters). Thus the synagogues are really
extensions of the Temple and hence have a holy status

2) At the dedication of the extension of the Talner Synagogue in Boston I
had the privilege of hearing Rabbi Soloveitchick speak about the sanctity
of the synagogue. He suggested the following distinction: The synagogue is
our home in which G-d is a distinguished guest while the Temple is G-d's
house where we are distinguished guests. This distinction explains various
laws (e.g. you can eat in a synagogue because you can eat in your house but
you wouldn't eat in the Temple because it is G-d's house; on the other hand
even though you would eat in your house you would not soil it with muddy
boots and hence you cannot enter the synagogue with muddy boots).

I believe these two items shed light on the nature of temple sanctity

Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA RHendel @ Juno Com;