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A Synagogue Service
The existence of worship and ritual public spaces has been known for a long time. Evidence is obtained from the various temples and alters found in various parts of the world. The ceremonies and prayers, which take place in modern synagogues, use the latest physical structures. The religion of Judaism has a history rich in places that are memorable. In the United States, synagogues are referred to as temples. There are many followers of Judaism, and the number seems to grow at an extremely high rate.
The tabernacle is referred to as a centre whereby, public Jewish rituals took place. It is a structure, which resembles a large tent that existed for forty years in the desert. Furthermore, people used to carry it wherever they went. The menorah is a holy part of the tabernacle that housed the Ark of the Covenant. Only holy people were allowed to enter the menorah. One vital symbol that one cannot fail to notice is the candelabrum, which has seven golden branches. The latter is a symbol that is associated with Judaism (Barry, 2009.56).
Beit Knesset is a Hebrew word that has been translated into Greek to mean synagogue. Another term used to refer to a synagogue is the word ‘House of Assembly’. In a synagogue, various aspects of Jewish life are observed, as it is the centre of their lives. The aspects are spiritual, intellectual or social aspects of life. A synagogue must ensure that it faces the direction where Jerusalem is located. An image of an Ark exists, and it contains the Torah Scrolls. The latter are the Bible’s first five books, and are in a Hebrew script that is hand written. The books are of extreme relevance to followers of this religion, and they are highly regarded. Furthermore, the Torah has been hand written by a scribe. ‘Know before whom you Stand’ (Barry, 2009.67) are Hebrew words that are positioned above the Ark. Moreover, tablets exist on top of the ark and have some inscription of the Ten Commandments. Each of the first words contained in the commandments is found on the inscription. In the synagogue, there is an eternal light that hangs in the front side of the Ark. On the other side, a menorah is visible to all that enter the synagogue. It is a symbol that is found in every synagogue, in the world.
A ‘bimah’ exists at the synagogue’s center, and it is on a platform, which is raised. Also, there is a reading desk where the services instructions are conveyed to the congregation. The person providing the reading from the Torah must ensure that they face the Ark. There is a morning service that takes place on a daily basis. There are men who are in attendance, and they have shawls, which are uniform and similar. Four corners of the shawl used for prayer have fringes. The fringes are of Biblical importance as it is a commandment that the shawls have fringes. It is meant to have divinity purposes that men must always remember.
The seating arrangements in a synagogue dictate that women seat separately from men. There is a gallery located upstairs, and that is where the women are seated. Men are often distracted when they are praying and women are in their presence. In other synagogues that are conservative, women and men seat in the same level. Everyone in the congregation must ensure that they cover their heads, and this does not apply to young girls. There is a dividing structure, which is symbolic in nature. The congregation and the readers have different ways through, which they pray. It can be through singing of traditional melodies, chanting, are quiet recitals. There is no discrimination concerning who has the authority to lead and hold prayers. Any willing and able person can volunteer to lead the congregation in prayers. A rabbi is sometimes in charge of the service. There is a person in charge of sacred music due to their knowledge and voice. The person is known as a ‘cantor’ or a ‘chazzan’.
In a synagogue, there are three times that services are held on a daily basis. During the Sabbath, after the morning service, there is an additional service known as ‘Musaf’. The latter serv.............
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