What are the exterior features of a synagogue?

What are the exterior features of a synagogue?

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.

Why are there no pictures in a synagogue?

The second of the Ten Commandments forbids making carved images, so synagogues have no statues or pictures of God or any human figures. Instead, they may be decorated with patterns or verses from the Hebrew Bible, illustrations of the menorah , or the Star of David .

What is the difference between the temple and a synagogue?

Temple, in the general sense, means the place of worship in any religion. Temple in Judaism refers to the Holy Temple that was in Jerusalem. Synagogue is the Jewish house of worship. This is the main difference between the two words.

Why are synagogues built facing Jerusalem?

Wherever possible, synagogues face the city of Jerusalem . Jews ensure they are facing Jerusalem when they are praying. This reminds Jews of the Temple .

What is the hall of worship of a synagogue called?

Inside the synagogue The synagogue is the Jewish place of worship, but is also used as a place to study, and often as a community centre as well. Orthodox Jews often use the Yiddish word shul (pronounced shool) to refer to their synagogue. In the USA, synagogues are often called temples.

What is the holiest part of the synagogue?

The Ark
The Ark is reminiscent of the Ark of the Covenant, which held the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. This is the holiest spot in a synagogue, equivalent to the Holy of Holies. The Ark is often closed with an ornate curtain, the parochet פרוכת‎, which hangs outside or inside the ark doors.

Why is the Ner Tamid always on?

The Ner Tamid is situated at the front of the synagogue above the ark. It would traditionally have been an oil lamp but is often an electric lamp today for convenience. It is continuously kept burning and should not be allowed to go out. The Ner Tamid means eternal light.

What should a woman wear to synagogue?

Basic Attire In some synagogues, it is customary for people to wear formal attire to any prayer service (suits for men and dresses or pants suits for women). Since a synagogue is a house of worship it is generally advisable to wear “nice clothes” to a prayer service or other lifecycle event, such as a Bar Mitzvah.

What are the seats called in a synagogue?

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

Why is it important to go to the synagogue?

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.

What is the most important role of the 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.

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