Feb 14, 2011

Interesting Psak: Davening In A Mosque

Before I begin, I would just like to point out something strange. The ynetnews article that discusses the issue references a psak issued on the Kipa website. I went to check the Kipa website for the original text and wording, and was surprised to see that the Kipa site has been taken over by the Kosharot organization and the original Kipa content is gone. So, I have not been able to find the original source and am only able to reference the ynet article.

Rav Baruch Efrati, a community rav in Efrat, was asked, on the now-missing Kipa website, by somebody who travels a lot, he puts on tefillin in advance, but he does not have time to daven, and he prefers not to daven out in public in the airport and it will disturb his focus. What is the best option for him to do under these circumstances.

Rav Efrati's answer is that many airports have a makeshift mosque, which is generally empty except for books and Korans. While davening in a mosque is not a perfect solution, it is permissible and seems to be the best option available. Rav Efrati used the Me'aras HaMachpela as an example of the permissibility of davening in a mosque.

A mosque, however, is different than a Christian church. A church is prohibited for a Jew to enter, so if an airport has a church, that cannot be used as a solution for this man's prayer issues.

This is really not a new or radical psak - we hold that Christianity, or at least certain streams of it, are considered idolatry for Jews, and Jews cannot go into the churches. Islam however is not idolatry, and even though there are elements of heresy and problematic beliefs (such as the idea that the Koran replaced the Torah), the religion overall is not idolatry and the mosque is not "off grounds".

Interestingly enough, some of the haredi websites that have quoted and referenced this psak of Rav Efrati ran the title as "Zionist Rabbi" says to daven in mosque. As if it is sensationalist simply because he is a Zionist yet was in favor of  davening in the mosque. They seem to be surprised that Zionist rabbis also keep the halacha, based same shulchan aruch.


  1. Machlokes: Tzitz Eliezer (asur), Rav Avodia Yosef (mutar)


  2. Were you looking for this?

  3. hey - they kipa site is back to normal. thanks. that was very strange

  4. Avoda Zara is not just about polytheism or the use of physical intermediaries. It's about worshiping ANY god other than Hakadosh Baruch Hu.

    There's a god called "Allah" that issues a different set of commands, has different prophets, different lore/stories. So what if this god is called "one and only", "ineffable", etc. At a certain point it ain't the same god!

    Christians however DO worship our God. When a Christian speaks about God we're talking about the same thing - giver of the Torah, God of Israel, etc. (Yes, they have some other theological issues to be sure...) As opposed to a Muslim speaking about Allah - we're NOT talking about the same thing. Different god l'gamrei! Hence, why isn't Islam Avoda Zara?

  5. David Meir
    Sorry, but u have no clue what you are saying, possibly somebody misled you and you don't know any better.
    You come across however, as no different in your assertions on the name Allah and it's meaning in arabic than holocaust deniers who do that bezadon.
    Find yourself a good jewish library to look for the moreh nevukhim in arabic in ktav ashuri or emunot and deot of rasag in arabic bikhtav ashuri, or the kuzari ditto too. You will see that G-d, Elokei Yisroel in Arabic
    is rendered as Allah.
    your acceptance of the god of the christians on the other hand, is nothing short of puzzling considering their doctrine of trinity, the father the son etc....

  6. stjust,

    Your comment putting me on par with Holocaust deniers is so whacked out that I hesitate to even respond.

    Yes, I'm aware that Allah is the Arabic equivalent of "E-l" or "God". The point is not the name. It's to question the assumption that a monotheistic religion can't be deemed an Avoda Zara. If it theoretically could, I'd put the death cult that is extremist Islam on the short list of candidates!

  7. David Meir
    'A' god in arabic, is 'ilah'.
    Allah, is our God Almighty.
    As to redefining God because of some moslems that form a 'cult of death', while accepting the trinity ?! is odd. Why, check Maimonides opinion on the 2 religions.


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