QUERY: The history of armed synagogue security?

Aryeh Cohen's picture

Can someone point me to a scholarly discussion of the recent history of armed synagogue security? I'm especially interested in the turn to armed guards on a regular basis (as opposed to just for High Holidays). Thank you.

Categories: Query
Keywords: history, security

For the question of Prof. Aryeh Cohen, who is interested in a scholarly discussion of the recent history of armed synagogue security:
In regard to our current modern time unfortunately I cannot be helpful, but perhaps it can be for any help if I refer shortly to the Middle Ages sources. See in this regard what have Yitzhak Zeev Kahaana collected in his book "Mehkarim BeSifrut HaTeshuvot", pp. 165-167 under the subtitle Hitgonenut (self-defense); although not especially on synagogues, but obviously on synagogues as well.
Another question which was in discussion is whether the guards can enter into the synagogue and take part in the Tephilah when they are armed. See Kahana ibid. p. 164, who refers to Maharam from Rothenberg who was against it. And see in length these discussions (including the question whether one alone, not in the synagogue, is allowed to carry a gun when he prays, or is it only a prohibition to enter into the synagogue with a gun): Prof. Yaakov Shpigel, Al Kenisah BeSakin uveNesheck LeVeit HaKeneset, Daf Shevui (Bar Ilan University) no. 349; R. Avraham Yaffe-Schlezinger, Beer Sarim, vol. 1 (Siman 77) pp. 297-301; R. Meir David Shemueli, Biet Keneset KaHalakha, pp. 129-133.

Admiel Kosman
Potsdam University