Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York City, U.S.
Princes Road Synagogue in Liverpool, England
Exterior of Helsinki Synagogue in Helsinki, Finland
Exterior of Helsinki Synagogue in Helsinki, Finland
Yusef Abad Synagogue in Tehran, Iran

A synagogue,[a] sometimes referred to as shul,[b] and interchangeably used with the word temple,[c] is a Jewish house of worship. Synagogues have a place for prayer (the main sanctuary and sometimes smaller chapels), where Jews attend religious Services or special ceremonies (including Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs or Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmations, choir performances, or even children's plays), have rooms for study, social hall(s), administrative and charitable offices, classrooms for religious school and Hebrew school, sometimes Jewish preschools, and often have many places to sit and congregate; display commemorative, historic, or modern artwork throughout; and sometimes have items of some Jewish historical significance or history about the Synagogue itself, on display.

Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of Jewish prayer, study, assembly, and reading of the Torah (read in its entirety once a year in weekly Torah portions during religious Services). However, a Synagogue is not always necessary for Jewish worship, due to adaptations during times of Jewish persecution in countries and regions that banned Judaism, frequently destroying and/or reappropriating Synagogues into Churches or even government buildings. Halakha (Jewish "law," or Mitzvot, from the Mishnah -- the "Oral Torah") state that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever a minyan (a group of at least 10 Jewish adults) is assembled. Worship can also happen alone or with fewer than 10 people, but there are certain prayers that are considered by halakha as solely communal, and these can therefore be recited only by a minyan, depending on sect of Judaism. In terms of its specific ritual and liturgical functions, the Synagogue does not replace the symbol of the long-destroyed Temple in Jerusalem (1st or 2nd Temple).

Terminology

Israelis use the Hebrew term beyt knesset "house of assembly". Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jews have traditionally used the Western Yiddish (German-Yiddish) term shul (cognate with the German Schule, 'school') in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews generally use the term kal (from the Hebrew ḳahal, meaning "community"). Spanish Jews call the synagogue an esnoga and Portuguese Jews call it a sinagoga. Persian Jews and some Karaite Jews also use the term kenesa, which is derived from Aramaic, and some Mizrahi Jews use kenis or qnis. Most Reform and Conservative Jews use the word temple interchangeably with Synagogue. The Greek word synagogue is used in English to cover the preceding possibilities.[2]

Origins

El Ghriba Synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia

Although synagogues existed a long time before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, communal worship in the time while the Temple still stood focussed mostly on korbanot brought by the Kohanim (Aaronic priesthood line of Rabbinical succession) in the Temple in Jerusalem. The all-day Yom Kippur service, was an event in which the congregation both observed the movements of the kohen gadol ("high priest") as he presided over the day's traditions and processions, and administered prayers for success.

According to Jewish tradition, the men of the Great Assembly (around 5th century BCE) formalized and standardized the language of the Jewish prayers.[3] Prior to that people prayed as they saw fit, with each individual praying in his or her own way, and there were no standard prayers that were recited.[citation needed]

Johanan ben Zakai, one of the leaders at the end of the Second Temple period, promulgated the idea of creating individual houses of worship in whatever locale Jews found themselves. This contributed to the continuity of the Jewish people by maintaining a unique identity and a portable way of worship despite the destruction of the Temple, according to many historians.[citation needed]

Synagogues in the sense of purpose-built spaces for worship, or rooms originally constructed for some other purpose but reserved for formal, communal prayer, however, existed long before the destruction of the Second Temple.[4][unreliable source?] The earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of very early synagogues comes from Egypt, where stone synagogue dedication inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BCE prove that synagogues existed by that date.[5][unreliable source?] More than a dozen Jewish (and possibly Samaritan) Second Temple period synagogues have been identified by archaeologists in Israel, and in other countries belonging to the Hellenistic world.[4]

Any Jew or group of Jews can build a synagogue. Synagogues have been constructed by ancient Jewish "kings" (the English word "king" has a different context lost in English translation; more appropriately translating to "leader"), by wealthy patrons, as part of a wide range of human institutions including secular educational institutions, governments, and hotels, by the entire Jewish community of living in a particular village or region, or by sub-groups of Jewish people arrayed according to occupation, ethnicity (i.e. the Sephardi, Yemeni, Polish or Persian Jews of a town), style of religious observance (i.e., Reform, Orthodox synagogue), or by the followers of a particular Rabbi (only in very small congregations or ultra-orthodox Hasidism).

It has been theorized that the synagogue became a place of worship in the region upon the destruction of the Second Temple during the First Jewish–Roman War; however, others speculate that there had been places of prayer, apart from the Temple, during the Hellenistic period. The popularization of prayer over sacrifice during the years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE[6] had prepared the Jews for life in the diaspora, where prayer would serve as the focus of Jewish worship.[7]

Despite the possibility[dubious ] of synagogue-like spaces prior to the First Jewish–Roman War, the synagogue emerged as a stronghold for Jewish worship upon the destruction of the Temple. For Jews living in the wake of the Revolt, the synagogue functioned as a "portable system of worship". Within the synagogue, Jews worshiped by way of prayer rather than sacrifices, which had previously served as the main form of worship within the Second Temple.[8]

Second Temple period

In 1995, Howard Clark Kee argued that synagogues were not a developed feature of Jewish life prior to the First Jewish-Roman War (66-73 CE).[9] Kee interpreted his findings as evidence that the mentions of synagogues in the New Testament, including Jesus's visitations of synagogues in various Jewish settlements in Israel, were anachronistic. However, by 2018, Mordechai Aviam reported that there were now at least nine synagogues excavated known to pre-date the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE, including in Magdala, Gamla, Masada, Herodium, Modi‘in (Kh. Umm el-‘Umdan), Qiryat Sepher (Kh. Bad ‘Issa), and Kh. Diab. Aviam concluded that he thought almost every Jewish settlement at the time, whether it was a polis or a village, had a synagogue.[10]

Middle Ages

Rabbi and philosopher, Maimonides (1138–1204), described the various customs in his day with respect to local synagogues:

Synagogues and houses of study must be treated with respect. They are swept and sprinkled [with water] to lay the dust. In Spain and the Maghreb, in Babylonia and in the Holy Land, it is customary to kindle lamps in the synagogues and to spread mats on the floor upon which the worshippers sit. In the lands of Edom (Christendom), they sit in synagogues upon chairs [or benches].[16]

Samaritan synagogues

Interior of the Samaritan synagogue in Nablus circa 1920
Interior of the Samaritan synagogue in Nablus circa 1920

Name and history

The Samaritan house of worship is also called a synagogue.[17] During the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, during the Hellenistic period, the Greek word used in the Diaspora by Samaritans and Jews was the same: proseucheμ (literally, a place of prayer); a later, 3rd or 4th century CE inscription, uses a similar Greek term: eukteμrion (prayer house).[17] The oldest Samaritan synagogue discovered so far is from Delos in the Aegean Islands, with an inscription dated between 250 and 175 BCE, while most Samaritan synagogues excavated in the wider Land of Israel and ancient Samaria in particular, were built during the 4th-7th centuries, at the very end of the Roman and throughout the Byzantine period.[17]

Distinguishing elements

The elements which distinguish Samaritan synagogues from contemporary Jewish ones are:

A representation of Mount Gerizim is a clear indication of Samaritan identity.[17] On the other hand, although the existence of a Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim is both mentioned by Josephus and confirmed by archaeological excavation at its summit, the temple's early destruction in the 2nd century BCE led to its memory disappearing from Samaritan tradition, so that no temple-related items would be found in Samaritan synagogue depictions.[17] Religious implements, such as are also known from ancient Jewish synagogue mosaics (menorah, shofar, shewbread table, trumpets, incense shovels, and specifically the façade of what looks like a temple or a Torah shrine) are also present in Samaritan ones, but the objects are always related to the desert Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant within the Tabernacle, or the Torah shrine in the synagogue itself.[17] Samaritans believe that at the end of time the Tabernacle and its utensils will be recovered from the place they were buried on Mount Gerizim and as such play an important role in Samaritan beliefs.[17] Since the same artists, such as mosaicists, worked for all ethno-religious communities of the time, some depictions might be identical in Samaritan and Jewish synagogues, Christian churches and pagan temples, but their significance would differ.[17]
Missing from Samaritan synagogue floors would be images often found in Jewish ones: the lulav (palm-branch) and etrog (lemon-like fruit) have a different ritual use by Samaritans celebrating Sukkot, and do not appear on mosaic floors.[17]

Archaeological finds

Ancient Samaritan synagogues are mentioned by literary sources or have been found by archaeologists in the Diaspora, in the wider Holy Land, and specifically in Samaria.[17]

Diaspora

The wider Holy Land

Samaria

Christianity

In the New Testament, the word appears 56 times, mostly in the Synoptic Gospels, but also in the Gospel of John (John 9:22; 18:20) and the Book of Revelation (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). It is used in the sense of 'assembly' in the Epistle of James (James 2:2). Alternatively, the epistle of James (in Greek, clearly Ἰάκωβος or יעקב, anglicized to Jacob) refers to a place of assembly that was indeed Jewish, with Jacob ben Joseph perhaps an elder there. The specific word in James (Jacob) 2:2 could easily be rendered "synagogue," from the Greek συναγωγὴν.

During the first Christian centuries, Jewish Christian are hypothesized to have used houses of worship known in academic literature as synagogue-churches. Scholars have claimed to have identified such houses of worship of the Jews who had accepted Jesus as the Messiah in Jerusalem[18] and Nazareth.[19][20]

Architectural design

Aerial view of the synagogue of the Kaifeng Jewish community in China.
Aerial view of the synagogue of the Kaifeng Jewish community in China.

Main article: Synagogue architecture

There is no set blueprint for synagogues and the architectural shapes and interior designs of synagogues vary greatly. In fact, the influence from other local religious buildings can often be seen in synagogue arches, domes and towers.

Historically, synagogues were built in the prevailing architectural style of their time and place. Thus, the synagogue in Kaifeng, China looked very like Chinese temples of that region and era, with its outer wall and open garden in which several buildings were arranged. The styles of the earliest synagogues resembled the temples of other cults of the Eastern Roman Empire. The surviving synagogues of medieval Spain are embellished with mudéjar plasterwork. The surviving medieval synagogues in Budapest and Prague are typical Gothic structures.

With the emancipation of Jews in Western European countries, which not only enabled Jews to enter fields of enterprise from which they were formerly barred, but gave them the right to build synagogues without needing special permissions, synagogue architecture blossomed. Large Jewish communities wished to show not only their wealth but also their newly acquired status as citizens by constructing magnificent synagogues. These were built across Western Europe and in the United States in all of the historicist or revival styles then in fashion. Thus there were Neoclassical, Neo-Byzantine, Romanesque Revival, Moorish Revival, Gothic Revival, and Greek Revival. There are Egyptian Revival synagogues and even one Mayan Revival synagogue. In the 19th century and early 20th century heyday of historicist architecture, however, most historicist synagogues, even the most magnificent ones, did not attempt a pure style, or even any particular style, and are best described as eclectic.

In the post-war era, synagogue architecture abandoned historicist styles for modernism.

Interior elements

Bimah (platform)

All synagogues contain a Bimah, a large, raised, reader's platform (called teḇah (reading dais) by Sephardim), where the Torah scroll is placed to be read. In Sephardi synagogues it is also used as the prayer leader's reading desk.[21] This is also so in the Ashkenazi United Synagogue in England, UK, who adopted some of the Sephardi customs.

Table or lectern

In Ashkenazi synagogues, the Torah was read on a reader's table located in the center of the room, while the leader of the prayer service, the hazzan, stood at his own lectern or table, facing the Ark. In Sephardic synagogues, the table for reading the Torah (reading dais) was commonly placed at the opposite side of the room from the Torah Ark, leaving the center of the floor empty for the use of a ceremonial procession carrying the Torah between the Ark and the reading table.[22] Most contemporary synagogues feature a lectern for the rabbi.[23]

Torah Ark

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The Torah Ark, called in Hebrew ארון קודשAron Kodesh or 'holy chest', and alternatively called the heikhalהיכל‎ or 'temple' by Sephardic Jews, is a cabinet in which the Torah scrolls are kept.

The ark in a synagogue is almost always positioned in such a way such that those who face it are facing towards Jerusalem. Thus, sanctuary seating plans in the Western world generally face east, while those east of Israel face west. Sanctuaries in Israel face towards Jerusalem. Occasionally synagogues face other directions for structural reasons; in such cases, some individuals might turn to face Jerusalem when standing for prayers, but the congregation as a whole does not.

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.

Eternal Light

Ner tamid of the Abudarham Synagogue in Gibraltar
Ner tamid of the Abudarham Synagogue in Gibraltar

Other traditional features include a continually lit lamp or lantern, usually electric in contemporary synagogues, called the ner tamid (נר תמיד‎), the "Eternal Light", used as a way to honor the Divine Presence.[24]

Inner decoration

Sarajevo Synagogue, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1902)
Sarajevo Synagogue, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1902)

A synagogue may be decorated with artwork, but in the Rabbinic and Orthodox tradition, three-dimensional sculptures and depictions of the human body are not allowed as these are considered akin to idolatry.[25]

Seating

Originally, synagogues were made devoid of much furniture, the Jewish congregants in Spain, the Maghreb (North Africa), Babylonia, the Land of Israel and Yemen having a custom to sit upon the floor, which had been strewn with mats and cushions, rather than upon chairs or benches. In other European towns and cities, however, Jewish congregants would sit upon chairs and benches.[26] Today, the custom has spread in all places to sit upon chairs and benches.[citation needed]

Until the 19th century, in an Ashkenazi synagogue, all seats most often faced the Torah Ark. In a Sephardic synagogue, seats were usually arranged around the perimeter of the sanctuary, but when the worshipers stood up to pray, everyone faced the Ark.[citation needed]

Special seats

Many current synagogues have an elaborate chair named for the prophet Elijah, which is only sat upon during the ceremony of Brit milah.[27]

In ancient synagogues, a special chair placed on the wall facing Jerusalem and next to the Torah Shrine was reserved for the prominent members of the congregation and for important guests.[28] Such a stone-carved and inscribed seat was discovered at archaeological excavations in the synagogue at Chorazin in Galilee and dates from the 4th–6th century;[29] another one was discovered at the Delos Synagogue, complete with a footstool.

Rules for attendees

Removing one's shoes

In Yemen, the Jewish custom was to remove one's shoes immediately prior to entering the synagogue, a custom that had been observed by Jews in other places in earlier times.[30] The same practice of removing one's shoes before entering the synagogue was also largely observed among Jews in Morocco in the early 20th-century. On the island of Djerba in Tunisia, Jews still remove their shoes when entering a synagogue. The custom of removing one's shoes is no longer practiced in Israel, the United Kingdom, or the United States.[citation needed] However, in Karaite Judaism, the custom of removing one's shoes prior to entering a synagogue is still observed worldwide.[31]

Gender separation

Main article: mechitza

In Orthodox synagogues, men and women do not sit together. The synagogue features a partition (mechitza) dividing the men's and women's seating areas, or a separate women's section located on a balcony.[32]

Denominational differences

Reform Judaism

Congregation Emanu-El of New York

The German–Jewish Reform movement, which arose in the early 19th century, made many changes to the traditional look of the synagogue, keeping with its desire to simultaneously stay Jewish yet be accepted by the surrounding culture.

The first Reform synagogue, which opened in Hamburg in 1811, introduced changes that made the synagogue look more like a church. These included: the installation of an organ to accompany the prayers (even on Shabbat, when musical instruments are proscribed by halakha), a choir to accompany the hazzan, and vestments for the synagogue rabbi to wear.[33]

In following decades, the central reader's table, the Bimah, was moved to the front of the Reform sanctuary—previously unheard-of in Orthodox synagogues.[34]

Gender separation was also removed.[citation needed]

Synagogue as community center

Synagogues often take on a broader role in modern Jewish communities and may include additional facilities such as a catering hall, kosher kitchen, religious school, library, day care center and a smaller chapel for daily services.

Synagogue offshoots

Since many Orthodox and some non-Orthodox Jews prefer to collect a minyan (a quorum of ten) rather than pray alone, they commonly assemble at pre-arranged times in offices, living rooms, or other spaces when these are more convenient than formal synagogue buildings. A room or building that is used this way can become a dedicated small synagogue or prayer room. Among Ashkenazi Jews they are traditionally called shtiebel (שטיבל, pl. shtiebelekh or shtiebels, Yiddish for "little house"), and are found in Orthodox communities worldwide.

Another type of communal prayer group, favored by some contemporary Jews, is the chavurah (חבורה, pl. chavurot, חבורות), or prayer fellowship. These groups meet at a regular place and time, either in a private home or in a synagogue or other institutional space. In antiquity, the Pharisees lived near each other in chavurot and dined together to ensure that none of the food was unfit for consumption.[35]

List of "great synagogues"

Some synagogues bear the title "great synagogue".[dubious ]

Israel

The Belz Great Synagogue (2000)

Europe

Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Choral Synagogue of Moscow

Poland

Czech Republic

Hungary

Interior of the Synagogue of Szeged
Interior of the Synagogue of Szeged

Austria

Germany

Netherlands

Scandinavia

France and Belgium

Italy

Interior of the Great Synagogue of Florence
Interior of the Great Synagogue of Florence

Romania

Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

The Synagogue, Sarajevo
The Synagogue, Sarajevo
The Synagogue,  Doboj

Turkey (European part)

United Kingdom

Tunisia

Australia

World's largest synagogues

Congregants inside the Great Beth Midrash Gur
Congregants inside the Great Beth Midrash Gur

Israel

Europe

North America

World's oldest synagogues

Main article: List of oldest synagogues

Sardis Synagogue (3rd century AD) Sardis, Turkey
Sardis Synagogue (3rd century AD) Sardis, Turkey
Fresco at the Dura-Europos synagogue, illustrating a scene from the Book of Esther, 244 CE.
Fresco at the Dura-Europos synagogue, illustrating a scene from the Book of Esther, 244 CE.
The Paradesi Synagogue in Jew Town, Kochi, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Paradesi Synagogue in Jew Town, Kochi, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oldest synagogues in the United States

Touro Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue building in the U.S.
Touro Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue building in the U.S.
Painting of the interior of the Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam) by Emanuel de Witte (c. 1680)
Painting of the interior of the Portuguese Synagogue (Amsterdam) by Emanuel de Witte (c. 1680)

Main article: List of the oldest synagogues in the United States

Other famous synagogues

Gallery

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Pronounced /ˈsɪnəɡɒɡ/ SIN-ə-gog. From Ancient Greek συναγωγή, synagogē, 'assembly'; Hebrew: בית כנסת beit knesset, 'house of assembly', or בית תפילהbeit tfila, "house of prayer"; Yiddish: שול shul, Ladino: אשנוגה or אסנוגה esnoga (from synagogue); or קהל kahal, "community".
  2. ^ Pronounced /ˈʃl/ SHOOL.
  3. ^ This is a fairly modern term mostly used by the more liberal and less religious denominations of Judaism, but is still rare.[1]

References

  1. ^ "Synagogue | Definition, History, & Facts | Britannica".
  2. ^ Judaism 101: Synagogues, Shuls and Temples. Jewfaq.org.
  3. ^ orah765768 (1 February 2016). "The Institution of Prayer by the Men of the Great Assembly". Peninei Halakha. Translated by Ote, Atira. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b Donald D. Binder. "Second Temple Synagogues". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
  5. ^ a b Donald D. Binder. "Egypt".
  6. ^ Schiffman, Lawrence (March 1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (1st ed.). Ktav Pub Inc. p. 159. ISBN 0881253723.
  7. ^ Schiffman, Lawrence (March 1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (1st ed.). Ktav Pub Inc. p. 164. ISBN 0881253723.
  8. ^ Schiffman, Lawrence (March 1991). From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (1st ed.). Ktav Pub Inc. p. 164. ISBN 0881253723.
  9. ^ Kee, Howard Clark. "Defining the First-Century CE Synagogue: Problems and Progress." New Testament Studies 41.4 (1995): 481-500.
  10. ^ Aviʿam, Mordekhai. "First-Century Galilee New Discoveries." Early christianity 9.2 (2018): 219-226.
  11. ^ Levine, Lee I. (2000). The ancient synagogue : the first thousand years. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07475-1. OCLC 40408825.
  12. ^ Yadin, Yigael. (1966). Masada : the momentous archaeological discovery revealing the heroic life and struggle of the jewish zealots (1st ed.). New York, NY: Random House. pp. 180–191. ISBN 0-394-43542-7. OCLC 861644287.
  13. ^ "Herodium (BiblePlaces.com)". BiblePlaces.com. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  14. ^ "Ancient synagogue found in Israel". CNN. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  15. ^ "Modi'in: Where the Maccabees Lived". Biblical Archaeology Society. 2019-09-22. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  16. ^ Maimonides, Mishneh Torah (Hil. Tefillah Birkat kohanim 11:4)
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Pummer, Reinhard (13 January 2009). "How to Tell a Samaritan Synagogue from a Jewish Synagogue". Biblical Archaeology Review. May/June 1998 (24:03) – via Center for Online Judaic Studies, cojs.org.
  18. ^ Skarsaune, Oskar (2008). In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity. IVP Academic. p. 186. ISBN 9780830828449. Retrieved 1 September 2018. 9780830828449
  19. ^ Taylor, Joan E. (1993). [c Christians and the Holy Places: The Myth of Jewish-Christian Origins]. Clarendon Press. p. 338. ISBN 9780198147855. Retrieved 1 September 2018. ((cite book)): Check |url= value (help)
  20. ^ Emmett, Chad Fife (1995). Beyond the Basilica: Christians and Muslims in Nazareth. University of Chicago Geography Research Papers (Book 237). University of Chicago Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-226-20711-7. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  21. ^ "Encyclopedia Judaica: The Bimah". JewishVirtualLibrary.org. Retrieved 2019-10-12.
  22. ^ "The Bimah: The Synagogue Platform". www.chabad.org. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  23. ^ "Synagogue Background & Overview". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  24. ^ "Ner Tamid: The Eternal Light." Chabad. 28 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Sculpture". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  26. ^ Maimonides, Mishne Torah (Hil. Tefillah 11:4), who wrote: "Synagogues and houses of study must be treated with respect. They are swept and sprinkled to lay the dust. In Spain and in the Maghreb (North Africa), in Babylon and in the Holy Land, it is customary to kindle lamps in the synagogues and to spread mats on the floor on which the worshipers sit. In the land of Edom (i.e. Christian countries) they sit in synagogues upon chairs."
  27. ^ Zaklikowski, David. "The Chair of Elijah and Welcoming the Baby". Chabad. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  28. ^ The Interactive Bible, Synagogue Moses' Seat: Metaphor of Pride
  29. ^ Israel Museum, Elaborate seat, Chorazin synagogue
  30. ^ Joseph Kafih, Jewish Life in Sanà, Ben-Zvi Institute: Jerusalem 1982, p. 64 (note 3) ISBN 965-17-0137-4. There, Rabbi Kafih recalls the following story in the Jerusalem Talmud (Baba Metzi'a 2:8): "Yehudah, the son of Rebbe, entered a synagogue and left his sandals [outside], and they were stolen. He then said, 'Had I not gone to the synagogue, my sandals would not have gone-off.'" The custom of never entering a synagogue while wearing one's shoes is also mentioned in the Cairo Geniza manuscripts: "While he is yet outside, let him take-off his shoes or sandals from his feet and then enter barefoot, since such is the way of servants to walk barefoot before their lords... We have a minor sanctuary, and we are required to behave with sanctity and fear [in it], as it says: And you shall fear my hallowed place." (v. Halakhot Eretz Yisrael min ha-Geniza [The Halacha of the Land of Israel from the Geniza], ed. Mordechai Margaliot, Mossad Harav Kook: Jerusalem 1973, pp. 131–132; Taylor-Schechter New Series 135, Cambridge University Library / Oxford MS. 2700).
  31. ^ "The Jews who take off their shoes for shul". www.thejc.com. November 24, 2016. Retrieved 2022-01-15.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  32. ^ "Mechitzah: Separate Seating in the Synagogue". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  33. ^ Rabbi Ken Spiro. "Crash Course in Jewish History Part 54 - Reform Movement" Archived 2012-01-18 at the Wayback Machine, Aish.com
  34. ^ Yisroel Besser (2018). The Chasam Sofer. Artscroll. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4226-2232-2. a bimah must be in the middle
  35. ^ Alan F. Segal, Rebecca's Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World, Harvard University Press, 1986, 125.
  36. ^ 1340 seats, the synagogue is 48 meters long, 35 meters wide, and 48.6 meters high.
  37. ^ Shaul Kahana (January 9, 2022). "גור קיבלו טופס ארבע - לבית הכנסת הגדול בעולם". Kikar HaShabbat (in Hebrew).
  38. ^ Nathan Jeffay (January 12, 2011). "The Heart of Israel's Reform Judaism". The Forward.
  39. ^ Kulish, Nicholas (30 December 2007). "Out of Darkness, New Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  40. ^ Snyder, S. C. (2008). Acculturation and Particularism in the Modern City: Synagogue Building and Jewish Identity in Northern Europe. University of Michigan. ISBN 9780549818977. Retrieved 2014-12-07.
  41. ^ "Orthodox Synagogue to Be Dedicated November 28–30." Memphis Commercial Appeal, October 21, 1957.
  42. ^ Rabbi Yitschak Rudomin. "Rebbes, Hasidim, and Authentic Kehillahs". The Second World War and Jewish Education in America: The Fall and Rise of Orthodoxy. Jewish Professionals Institute (JPI).
  43. ^ Donald D. Binder. "Delos".[permanent dead link]
  44. ^ "Nidhe Israel Synagogue". planetware.
  45. ^ "Vilna Shul".
  46. ^ "Congregation Or HaTzafon". mosquitonet.com. Archived from the original on 2014-09-20. Retrieved 2014-12-07.