Presentations text content in Practices and rituals The Synagogue
Practices and ritualsSlide2
For Jews, the synagogue is a communal place of worship and is considered to be a place of gathering, of prayer, of study, and of learning.
TASKDo a Google image search of synagogues. Compare the different pictures; what common features do you see? How would you recognize a synagogue if you saw one?Slide3
The Torah Scroll
scroll, is the text of the five books of Moses written on parchment. It is the absolute most
object of Jewish life and it is
The Torah scroll is always kept in a special place of honour within the synagogue. Each scroll is wrapped in a beautiful covering and is kept in a gold or silver container. In fact, the parchment of the Torah cannot
ever be even touched!
The reader will often use a pointer to follow along with the text.
All synagogues need at least one Torah scroll, but some have a few to make sure the different readings are always prepared and there is no hold up during service/worship.Slide4
The Ark of the Covenant & the holy ark
According to Jewish tradition, when the Hebrews received the 10 Commandments from God in the desert, they were told to make “an ark in which to place them”. This is called
the Ark of the Covenant
What is an ark?
An ark is a chest or
like structure. In today’s synagogues, the
sits on a raised platform in the synagogue and holds the Torah scrolls when they are not being used for worship.
The Ark of the Covenant is believed to have looked something like this.
Modern Holy Arks are more like cabinets, and can be wooden or much fancier. See the Torah scrolls wrapped up inside?Slide5
Who runs a service at the synagogue?
Anybody who is trained, knowledgeable, and capable can conduct and lead a worship service, but this is usually the rabbi who does this as the “master of prayer”.
What is the role of the rabbi?
A rabbi is a trained scholar, a teacher, an interpreter of Jewish law, a counsellor, and is the officiant of special ceremonies like bar mitzvahs.
What other roles are necessary to the service?
Many synagogues have a
, a singer who chants the worship service. This person may also serve as prayer master.
Search up “Jewish Cantor” or “Cantor Synagogue” on YouTube and listen for yourself! Does it remind you of anything? Do you like this kind of music? Why or why not?Slide6
Blessings are the foundation of Jewish prayer. Through blessings, Jews believe that they acknowledge, praise, thank, and petition God.
kinds of blessings:
A blessing of thanks to God for enjoying anything with your 5 senses.
A blessing recited when people drink a special kosher wine on a holy day.
A blessing that is recited before performing a
to acknowledge that a
is to complete the commandment given to them by God and to thank God for the chance to fulfil a religious duty.
A blessing to praise, thank, or petition (ask for something from) God. Recited at the beginning of each festival.Slide7
at the synagogue
3 daily worship services, held in the evening, the afternoon, and the morning.Seems weird to say “evening, afternoon, and morning”, right? But this is because according to Jewish tradition, the day begins and ends with sunset, making the evening service the first of the day.The Torah scroll is the central part of worship.
The Torah is broken into 54 sections. One portion is read each week (for two weeks of the year, there is a double reading) so that
over the course of the year, the entire Torah will be read.Slide8
Shabbat aka Sabbath
The most important of Jewish rituals
WHAT IS SABBATH?
The Sabbath is the Jewish day of rest, based upon the Genesis stories.WHEN IS SABBATH?Based on the Jewish tradition of days beginning and ending at sunset, the Sabbath is from Friday evening (sunset) to Saturday evening (sunset).
HOW DOES ONE PARTICIPATE IN SABBATH?
Sabbath is a time to put away work, shopping, housework, even homework! But, it is very important to understand that it is
a time of restriction, but of rejuvenation! The Sabbath is a day to make time for the really important things like prayer, friends, and family.
At sunset on Friday, Jews go to the synagogue where the service opens with the lighting of the candles as a reminder of creation – “Let there be light”.
After the service, they return home for the Sabbath dinner, which begins with the
blessing. Then Challah, a special egg bread, is blessed and shared. After dinner, special songs are sung and prayers are recited. Sabbath ends with service on Saturday sunset, with a prayer that separates Sabbath from the rest of the week.