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Section: Halacha   Category: Tshuvos
B'Tzel HaChochma: Passing Someone Davening Shemoneh Esrei In Middle Of The Aisle
Ifsomeone is buried in a grave that obstructs a public thoroughfare hemay be moved (Shulchan Aruch YD 364:5).  What about if someone isdavening Shemoneh Esrei near the aisle in Shul, may you pass?  RavBetzalel Stern (Btzel HaChochma 6:30) says you may not.  The reason isthat the main purpose of the Shul is for davening.  The public aisle ismerely for access.  It takes secondary importance to that of Tefila. 

Moreoverthe entire area of the Shul is given to the gaba'im to do as they seefit.  Therefore if they gave someone a place to daven, even if it isnear the aisle, he may do so and the aisle may be obstructed since thatis what they decided.

Moreover he says that even if someone isdavening in the aisle itself, you may not pass him.  The reason is thatthe aisle is meant for before and after tefila and not during.  Heproves this from the fact that there are seats assigned in places thatare adjacent to the aisle, and those people are anyway obstructing theaisle.

Important Note: We try to convey theTshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding maynot be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be thefinal word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing anyconclusions.
RELATED ARTICLES:aisle  Btzel HaChochma  halacha  shmoneh esrei  tefila

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Visitor Comments: 5

RS, UK, 2008-11-04 01:28:57
It should be added that the above refers to someone who has been ALLOCATED a seat in or near the isle.
However, there are those (usually late-comers) who CHOOSE to stand willy-nilly wherever they land, and invairably continue their late-started tefillo well after most other mispelleleim. By their negligence and selfishness, they create a BOR BIRSHUS HORABIM, by prohibing others access unneccessarily.
Is this fair?......
JG, Monsey, 2008-11-04 09:33:50
Well, without the invective, I would also wonder how the Teshuvo would be affected if one was not assigned this place, as well as when davening in a place that is not a shul (such as mincha in an office.) An update would be appreciated.
bb, brooklyn, 2008-11-09 17:44:20
I have heard a dicsussion of this shaelo quite a while ago & the speaker quoted an adom gadol (no recollection who) who
said that in a cases such as described by JG & KS the person is a Bur (an empty one) brshis harabim

Does anyone know who else other than the btzel hachochma discusses this shealo

Anonymous, 2010-10-31 19:00:54
See Shut Tzitz Elezer Vol 9 Siman 8 there is a pretty long teshuva on this Halacha & if I remember correctly he touches this issue as well.

Also see Pikei teshuvos
Anonymous, 2010-11-01 14:12:14
R' Shlomo Zalman Aurbach, Halichos Shlomo- Tefilla 8:36. Not only is it permissable to pass in front of him, it's even permissable meikar hadin to physically move him out of the way.

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