- House of prayer, where jews come together for community prayers.
- Some prayers must require at least ten male adults to be there so these specific prayers are usually said in the synagogue.
- Also place of study.
- Studying jewish sacred texts is a life long task.
- Synagogue is a social hall or a place for social welfare, collecting money and aiding the poor.
Features in Synagogue
- Sanctuary: portion of synagogue where prayer is said, always faces Jerusalem.
- Ark: Most important feature of sanctuary, holds Torah scrolls, called "holy cabinet".
- Torah Scrolls: The Torah is the bible, and it is written on scrolls of parchment.
- Menorah: Cannot copy temples Menorah, so in a synagogue they usually have six or eight branches, the oldest symbol of jewish faith, said to be the symbol of the nation of Israel.
- directly means "great man" or "teacher"
- Religious teacher or person authorized to make decisions on issues of the Jewish law
- Also a teacher in the Jewish synagogue
- Perform Jewish weddings
- Considered closer to God than anyone else in the community
Calender and Holidays
- Calender: lunar calender based on phases of moon and the sun
- Twelve lunar months: Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av, Ellul, Tishri, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, Adar.
- Yom Kippur: Most important day on the calender, day of Atonement. Tenth day of Seventh Month. Select to goats, one goat symbolizes sins of the people, the other was an offering to seek forgiveness for the people.
- Rosh Hashhanha: Jewish New Year, not party like here, day of introspection. To think about how they are one year older. Time for self judgement in the light of gods teachings.
- Hanukkah: Eight day Jewish celebration, commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.
Cultural Traditions and Customs
- Kosher: Many jews believe this is primitive. Torah states these dietary laws. Animals must be killed the jewish way, all blood must be drained purely, meat cannot be eaten with dairy, shell fish and certain birds are forbidden. Animals such as camels and pigs are not considered kosher.
- Long Beard: According to Kippah beard should grow without even a trim. Beard represents the hair that grows from the head to the rest of the body, its supposed to symbolize the implementation of good intentions.
- Skull Cap: The Talmud states "cover your head, so you should fear from heaven"... There are some differences within the Orthodox on how important it is to wear this on a males head. Almost mandatory to wear to weddings and Bat Mitzvah's.