Divided We Stand

"The mekhitza is a divider between men and women in a synagogue. Sometimes it is simply a physical separation between the two sexes, such as a room divider or curtain. Sometimes the women's section is in a balcony."

"The reason for a mekhitza is to provide the men with a greater opportunity to focus on their prayers, rather than on the attractive women in the room."

"The women's section is stereotypically a place where women talk without regard for the prayer service." (from JewishVirtualLibrary.org)
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