synagogue

(redirected from synagogal)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

synagogue

(sĭn`əgŏg) [Gr.,=assembly], in Judaism, a place of assembly for worship, education, and communal affairs. The origins of the institution are unclear. One tradition dates it to the Babylonian exile of the 6th cent. B.C. The returnees may have brought back with them the basic structure that was to be developed by the 1st cent. A.D. into a well-defined institution around which Jewish religious, intellectual, and communal life was to be centered from this earliest period into the present. Other scholars believe the synagogue arose after the Hasmonean revolt (167–164 B.C.) as a Pharisaic alternative to the Temple cult. The destruction of the Temple (A.D. 70) and the Diaspora over the following centuries increased the synagogue's importance. Services in the synagogue were conducted in a simpler manner than in the Temple. There was no officially appointed priest, the services being conducted by a chazan (reader). The role the synagogue played in preserving Judaism intact through the centuries cannot be overestimated, nor can its influence as an intellectual and cultural force. In the modern period, the reform movement restricted its scope to almost purely religious purposes, although among the Orthodox Jews its purview did not diminish. In more recent times the synagogue has again taken on its former functions as a social and communal center. The architectural appearance of the synagogue has usually not differed from that of local non-Jewish forms. The interior includes an ark in which the Torah scrolls are held and a platform from which they are read. In modern times, a pulpit from which to preach has also become common, and in many synagogues the three are combined on one platform. In the United States, the national synagogue associations, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the United Synagogue of America (Conservative), and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) are organized in the Synagogue Council of America.

Bibliography

See U. Kaploun, ed., The Synagogue (1973); A. Eisenberg, The Synagogue through the Ages (1974); C. H. Krinsky, Synagogues of Europe (1987).

Synagogue

A place of assembly, or a building for Jewish worship and religious instruction.

Synagogue

 

in Judaism, a community of believers and a house of worship. Synagogues originated in Palestine in the fourth century B.C. and in Egypt in the third century B.C. After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70 and the expansion of the Diaspora, synagogues were established wherever Jews lived. The first synagogues were instrumental in the growth of monotheism.

Religious services take place in the synagogue, and the Bible and Talmud are read and discussed. In the Middle Ages, deviation from the dogmas of Judaism resulted in excommunication from the synagogue. Both Uriel Acosta and Spinoza were excommunicated.

The architecture of synagogues varies greatly. The common features are a rectangular shape, three or five aisles, an ark of the law at the eastern wall in which the scrolls of the Torah are kept and, in front of the ark, a raised platform for the reading of sacred texts.

REFERENCE

Wischnitzer, R. The Architecture of the European Synagogue. Philadelphia, Pa., 1964.

synagogue

A place of assembly for Jewish worship.

synagogue

1. 
a. a building for Jewish religious services and usually also for religious instruction
b. (as modifier): synagogue services
2. a congregation of Jews who assemble for worship or religious study
3. the religion of Judaism as organized in such congregations
References in periodicals archive ?
In the second half of the nineteenth century there were two most popular synagogal styles.
The poem is in iambic tetrameter, and if Nathan had wanted to choose a Jewish synagogal melody of identical length and rhythm he had a wide choice, including one of the oldest and best known, the closing hymn of Sabbath and Festival services, Adon olam asher malakh/B'terem kol ye-tzir nivra.
In the centuries which followed, not only did the great regional centres of Judaism maintain their own individual blends of local traditions with the now widely accepted Halakhic norms, but creativity continued to manifest itself in such things as the choice of biblical texts, the development of rites of passage, and the elaboration of synagogal customs.
Since the mid-1970s, the Baghdadi synagogue trustees and a few prominent Baghdadi congregants have ensured sufficient synagogal attendance required to conduct prayers and other religious affairs by asking several Bene Israel men to attend prayers in their synagogues, accompanying their request with material and monetary bonuses.
also decided that his edition would be suitable for Jewish ritual use, a decision that necessitated the exclusion of considerable materials found in the manuscript itself, the inclusion of other data not found there, and the standardization of several textual phenomena important for contemporary synagogal usage.
The affiliations of those returned Jews were primarily synagogal.
Feelings of inadequacy vis-a-vis the Rabbanite majority are compensated by strict menstrual separation, including the prohibition of the entrance of menstruating women into the synagogue, which would cause its ritual defilement, or the separation of menstruating women from family ceremonies, such as the Passover seder (Rabbanite Judaism requires a longer period of abstention from sexual relations but does not prevent menstruant women from participating in synagogal or other rituals).
13) identifies the first benediction as that familiar to the worshipper from synagogal (or, perhaps, academic) use; the next three as those included in the 'amidah; the fifth, sixth, and seventh as individual (unique perhaps?
Authors like Levine (8) and Schwartz (9) have now challenged the assertions of prior historians, claiming that Jewish practice in the Imperial period encompassed a broad range of religious activity: from the "orthodoxy" of the rabbinic academies to the syncretism of Jews who had Latin names and employed pagan motifs in synagogal decoration.
and other adjustments involving synagogal sacred space, education, membership, music, and liturgy, as well as congregational participation, attendance and leadership" (p.
Up to the time of emancipation, such a platform was provided by existence within the bounds of old Jewish law and in the Jewish home and synagogal service.
By the implicit act of crossing a taboo through the esthetic representation of the synagogal ceremonies and not as actual religious practice, the playwright led the audience into a new cultural space.