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 (mə-KHē′tsə, -KHē-tsä′)
n. pl. me·chi·tzas or me·chi·tzot (-tsôt) Judaism
1. A partition erected in the seating section of an Orthodox synagogue to prevent the mixing of men and women.
2. The structure defining the boundary of an eruv.

[Mishnaic Hebrew məḥiṣṣâ, partition, from Hebrew ḥāṣaṣ, to divide; see x̣ṣṣ in Semitic roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl mechitzot (-zəʊt)
a screen in a synagogue separating men and women
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
The room is partitioned with a lace mechitza separating the women from the men.
From photographs that they published after the fact, he said, it turns out that they took a Torah scroll and unwound it completely, from Bereshit to the final verse, and "used it as a kind of 'mechitza', with men and women going up to the Torah and hugging it, touching it...
In the late 1950s, a rabbi at Yeshiva issued a report about a Bronx synagogue, stating, "The seating is separate, without a mechitza, but peculiarly enough, during the High Holidays the balcony is mixed.
Also, since Orthodox women are obliged to sit separately (and often behind a mechitza, or divider), if you're female you often can't even see what's going on very well.
These buses adhere to rules and customs not generally found on curbside carriers, from a mechitza down the middle separating men and women, to prohibiting chametz on Passover.
He contributed to the Lambda Award-winning anthology Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community, and on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission's LGBT Advisory Committee he headed up groundbreaking research on the impact of bisexual invisibility.
Womenfolk above, the menschs below--the women can't complain: it's all ritual, no one's fault, merely a gesture to what, who remembers; the women disappearing behind the mechitza, then peeking out, disappearing again.
Though the word hijab derives from the Arabic word for "barrier" or "veil" (Bouselmati 2002; Debray 2004; Vianes 2004) and its primary reference is to the curtain that separates men and women in prayer; like the mechitza in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, a hijab is a type of kerchief and not a veil, though revealingly the debate in France focused on the le voule (veil) when referring explicitly to the hijab (Zouari 2002; 2004).
He regards the Orthodox Jewish women of his childhood synagogue, segregated behind the mechitza, as teachers of authentic emotion, and the mechitza itself as a barrier stultifying to both women and men:
So I operate largely with a mechitza, to use the Hebrew term, a barrier.
Continue reading "Singing Out Loud: An Elementary School Rebellion at the Mechitza" at...
As the most sacred space in Judaism, the Wall is under the zealous supervision of Orthodox Jews, which means that, like everything else in Orthodox Judaism, it is divided into a male part and a female part, with a mechitza, a physical divider separating men from women, running down the middle.