You are coming into an Orthodox synagogue for the first time and are not sure about what to expect and what is expected of you. The etiquette of coming to a synagogue varies greatly depending on the stream of Judaism you are used to. Here is a short list of steps for the considerate visitor to our little Orthodox Synagogue in Thornhill.
- Do not enter the hall with your coat/outerwear on. Visit the coatroom first.
- Do not enter the hall with a cell phone, or any secular reading materials on Shabbos or weekdays.
Visit the entrance lockers/charging station first.
- Do not eat or sleep inside the hall.
- Enter with awe of God’s presence.
- Say “Ma Tovu” when entering the Shul, and go directly to your seat.
- One may not be lighthearted in Shul and avoid speaking idle talk or joking around.
- The Shul premises should always be clean. Garbage should not be left around.
- Do not walk in with snow or mud on your footwear.
- Please do talk in Shul, but only to G-d.
Westmount Shul and Learning Centre’s congregants come from all streams of Judaism and are understanding, warm and accepting folks. The tone of our services is different from most Orthodox congregations, in that you will not see any congregants talking during the service. Come to experience an enthusiastic, sincere Jewish prayer service, with expert Chazannim and Leining talent and with congregants singing and praying out loud. However, you will see that we socialize and catch up with guests and with friends quite boisterously during kiddush (meals) – after the prayers are concluded.