I have written about breastfeeding in the synagogue many times, including a guest post on DovBear that earned over 200 comments. One of the main arguments against nursing in shul is that it is somehow improper—even though I’ve never seen a source prohibiting it.
Eating is prohibited in shul because of kedushat beit haknesset, the sanctity of the synagogue. But I’ve never been in a shul that enforced the no-eating rule for small children. Aside from bottles, just think how much candy is passed out in your average synagogue.
The alon put out last week by Machon Meir, Be-Ahava Uve-Emunah, published a rabbinic ruling by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner on breastfeeding in the women’s section of the synagogue:
Q: Can a woman nurse in the women’s section [of the synagogue] while she is covered?
A: Yes. It does not violate the sanctity of the women’s section.
Rabbi Aviner is a big fan of breastfeeding, but he is no meikil* when it comes to issues of women’s dress and modesty.
So the next time some busybody in shul tells you to nurse in the bathroom, feel free to stay put.
*Meikil: someone who generally gives lenient rulings.