Readers ask: Where Is Your Position In The Synagogue?

What is the role of a synagogue?

A synagogue is a space for worship and prayer. Jews believe it is good to pray together, but there must be a minimum of ten people present for certain prayers to be said. This is called a minyan. The synagogue is an important centre for Jewish communities where meetings take place and social gatherings happen.

What is the layout of a synagogue?

There is no standard synagogue architecture. A typical synagogue contains an ark (where the scrolls of the Law are kept), an “eternal light” burning before the ark, two candelabra, pews, and a raised platform (bimah), from which scriptural passages are read and from which, often, services are conducted.

What are the seats called in a synagogue?

A mechitza most commonly means the physical divider placed between the men’s and women’s sections in Orthodox synagogues and at religious celebrations.

What is the most important part of the synagogue?

The Aron Hakodesh, often known as the ark, is the most important place inside all synagogues. The Aron Hakodesh is where the Torah scroll is kept. The ark is usually wooden and has the features of a cupboard, and will often have a curtain or door.

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What was the synagogue used for in Jesus time?

As the Gospels report, it was Jesus’s custom to attend synagogue gatherings on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16), and it was also the primary venue for his teaching and preaching activities outside of Jerusalem (Mark 1:38; Matt 4:23; Luke 4:14–15, 43–44; John 18:20).

What are the three main uses of the synagogue?

“house of study”. Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, reading of the Tanakh (the entire Hebrew Bible, including the Torah), study and assembly; however, a synagogue is not necessary for Jewish worship.

How can you identify a synagogue from the outside?

Features of the synagogue

  1. On the outside of the building there is a Star of David and often a menorah.
  2. There are certain features that appear in all synagogues, regardless of whether they are Orthodox or Reform.

What is the meaning of mezuzah?

The Hebrew word mezuzah actually means doorpost, but over time it has evolved to mean the doorpost and what is affixed to it. If the casing is made of a material that does not allow for a window, such as stone, then some feel the word shaddai, or the Hebrew letter shin must appear on the face of the mezuzah.

Why is the synagogue so important?

The synagogue is the central point for life as a Jewish community- it is where many rites of passages take place. It is important as a place of study e.g. it is where a young boy/girl will learn Hebrew and study the Torah in preparation for their bar/bat mitzvahs.

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Which direction do Jews face in the synagogue and why?

Facing Jerusalem Wherever possible, synagogues face the city of Jerusalem. For synagogues in the UK, this would be east. Jews ensure they are facing Jerusalem when they are praying.

Why are there no pictures of God in a synagogue?

The term ‘idolatry’ means to worship an image or a created object, and this is considered a major sin in Judaism. For this reason, God will not be represented in any art form and you will not see images or statues of God in any synagogues or Jewish places of worship as you would in other religions.

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