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mechitza- Lady in wheel chair in men’s section

Rabbi Ari ShvatIyyar 28, 5773
448
Question
The shul where I daven for the past year a lady in a wheel chair who is in the convelescant home next door tp our shul is brought into the men’s section. The home/hospital has a minyan there that is wheel chair accessable with mechitza rather than a balcony like our shul. I asked the lady why doesn’t she daven in the home/hosipital & she said the davening there is not what she is used to as it Sephardi/Edot HaMizrach. My question is doesn’t there need to be a mechitza put up? If I wanted a lady in the men’s section wheel chair or otherwise I would go to a conservative or reform place not an Orthodox shul. I am in a quandry what to do.
Answer
Good question! I conferred with HaRav Ya’akov Ariel, Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, and he suggested asking the gabbai of the shul to arrange a portable mechitza, for example, on top of the table in front of where the woman sits. In the meantime, he said that you don’t have to leave the shul every time she comes in, which would obviously offend her, for there is a mechitza in the shul, and her being there is considered occasional and temporary, and one may rely on the fact that there are chairs and tables in between her and the men. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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