Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Voting in a Church

A responsa from Ohr Sameach regarding voting in a Church.

David in the USA wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Recently in one of our northeastern states, the voting location for elections was moved from a Jewish synagogue to, I believe, a Lutheran church. Evidently, last spring, voting was going to be during Pesach and the synagogue requested not to have the voting there, so the location was moved. Voting was to be located in the office area of the church, not in the worship area. An article in the newspaper quoted an area rabbi who suggested that the Orthodox Jews were being discriminated against because they couldn't go to vote at the Lutheran site because they were forbidden to go into a church. I am very confused; where is it written that a Jew cannot go into the place of worship of another religious group? Does that same interpretation mean that a Jew couldn't go to the church wedding of a friend who was not Jewish? Or, attend a funeral or a baby naming?

Dear David,

According to Jewish Law, it is prohibited to enter any place of worship that is not purely monotheistic. This would include weddings, funerals, baby namings, etc.

Regarding actual application of this law, consult your local Orthodox Rabbi.

* Sources: Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah, 150, Darchei Teshuva ad loc.
* Shearim Metzuyanim Behalacha 187:9
* Iggrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 3 Teshuvah 129:6

1 comment:

Bryan said...

See http://www.hashkafah.com/index.php?s=855ec254d76f6323cd613f78e25e20fd&showtopic=7997&st=0&p=166900&#entry166900 for an interesting thread on a similar topic.