Praying Separately

Question

When I visited the Western Wall on my Birthright trip, I noticed men and women prayed separately and there was a third area for egalitarian prayer. Why do men and women, at least Orthodox men and women, pray separately?

10 months

Answers

  1. The law requiring a mechitzah, division, between men and women in the synagogue dates back to Biblical times and is mentioned in the
    Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Succah 51b, 52a.

    There are a number of reasons given for this:
    So as not to cause those who are unmarried to feel left out.
    We come to synagogue to relate to Hashem as Jews, not as spouses, husbands, wives, fathers or mothers.  With a mechitzah, spouses do not
    sit together.  That way, we are more of a congregation than groups of individuals.
    To prevent there being an atmosphere of  socializing, and conversation during prayer.
    The atmosphere during prayer should be serious.  One way to help achieve the proper atmosphere is by creating a division between men
    and women.
    To promote modesty, and to prevent the distraction from prayer to both men and women from the presence of members of the opposite sex, to
    whom there is a natural attraction.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team

  2. The law requiring a mechitzah, division, between men and women in the synagogue dates back to Biblical times and is mentioned in the
    Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Succah 51b, 52a.

    There are a number of reasons given for this:
    So as not to cause those who are unmarried to feel left out.
    We come to synagogue to relate to Hashem as Jews, not as spouses, husbands, wives, fathers or mothers.  With a mechitzah, spouses do not
    sit together.  That way, we are more of a congregation than groups of individuals.
    To prevent there being an atmosphere of  socializing, and conversation during prayer.
    The atmosphere during prayer should be serious.  One way to help achieve the proper atmosphere is by creating a division between men
    and women.
    To promote modesty, and to prevent the distraction from prayer to both men and women from the presence of members of the opposite sex, to
    whom there is a natural attraction.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team