The Ark is evocative of the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the tablets with the Ten Commandments engraved on them. This is the most holy place in a synagogue, comparable to the Holy of Holies. Engraved onto the walls and the ceiling are illustrations depicting aspects of Jewish law.
The ark is made of wood, usually oak, but sometimes pine or chestnut. In ancient times, the temple priests would burn every seventh year as an offering to God. The wood from these burned trees was used to make new arks for the temple. It is estimated that there are still over 100 standing synagogues in Europe that were built using wood from these burned trees.
There are several features of a synagogue's interior that are important for worshipers to see. These include the bimah, or platform, where religious leaders deliver speeches during services; the ark, where Torah scrolls are kept before they are read from the front of the room; and the mechitza, or barrier between men and women, which prevents sexual harassment by allowing people to focus exclusively on their prayers.
Synagogues also have features that are important for worshipers to feel. For example, the ark and bimah are often raised up on pillars so that people can pray from their seats. There are also benches for men and women to sit separately.
Synagogue Characteristics It represents the Ark of the Covenant, which held the stone tablets on which Moses received the Ten Commandments. The temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., but the practice of Judaism continues today.
The synagogue has been called "the church of the Jews," because it was here that many Jews learned about Jesus. Although most historians agree that Jesus was a Jew who was crucified by the Romans, some people believe he was part of a movement called "Christianity" that started after his death.
During the Middle Ages, Christians burned all kinds of books including those with Jewish content. So, we might never know how many Jews were killed during this time period. However, it is known that the number of synagogues in Europe dropped from around 500 to just 150. Many Jews moved to Amsterdam, London, and Warsaw and opened new synagogues as they needed more space.
Eventually, Jews began to move out of Europe and start new communities across the world, so there were no longer any need for large synagogues. But still, people think of the synagogue as the place where God's people come to learn about him and pray together.
The Ark, also known as the Ark Of The Law, Hebrew Aron, or Aron Ha-qodesh ("holy ark"), is an elaborate cabinet in Jewish synagogues that houses the precious Torah scrolls used for public prayer. The ark is located on the bima (platform) at the front of the room. It is usually made of wood, with gilt edges and carvings, and covered with cloth. During medieval times, it often had images of the prophets painted on its walls.
The word "altar" comes from the Latin altare, which means "an offering to a god". In Judaism, the term refers to a platform on which sacrifices are burned and where people pray. The altar may be made of stone or wood, may have one flat surface or several, and may be rectangular or square. There are two types of Jewish altars: the sin altar and the guilt altar. On the sin altar, animals or other substances deemed sinful by Jewish law are burned as offerings to God. The smoke arising from these offerings purifies the worshiper's soul. On the guilt altar, sins are confessed and forgiven.
In ancient Israel, the altar was always built outside the temple walls in order to signify that it was only a temporary structure and not the place where true worship should take place.
The aron hakodesh, or great cupboard facing Jerusalem, is found in every synagogue. It represents the Ark of the Covenant, which held the stone tablets on which Moses received the Ten Commandments. It serves as the synagogue's focal point and houses the Torah scrolls. The aron has a door on each side, one for entrance and one for exit.
The word "cupboard" may give you an idea of how important it is. It is used to describe a small room where food is kept to be served at dinner time. This small room was probably all that was available within the walls of the temple compound. Since Jews would eat twice daily, they needed a place where supplies could be kept ready for use at a moment's notice.
The aron hakodesh is also called the aron kodashim because it once contained the golden vessels used by the priests during their services. These were removed when the temple was destroyed and now are kept in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem's Western Wall. They're too valuable to leave home!
In modern synagogues, the aron hakodesh is usually made of wood and measures about 1.5 feet high and 1 foot wide. It should be well-painted or stained to match the color of the wall it stands next to.
Every synagogue has an Ark, which is a cupboard that houses the Torah Scrolls, which contain the Hebrew Bible's text, as well as a desk from which to read the Torah. The Ark is called after the wooden box that housed the stone tablets of the Covenant given to Moses on Mount Sinai by God. Though made of wood, the box was so holy that only the priests were allowed to touch it or look inside.
The traditional ark is about 3 feet high, 4 feet wide and 6 feet long. It contains shelves for the scrolls, which can be locked away when not in use. A small window allows light into the room while another, slightly larger window looks onto the nave of the synagogue where the Torah is read from.
Synagogues are usually built around an open space, the nave, where the Torah is read from the five books of Moses. At one end of the nave there is a raised platform, the bimah, where the senior rabbi stands during services. The other end of the nave opens out onto a garden or a square where people can walk around and visit between services.
There are many different kinds of synagogues, depending on what part of Israel they are in.
Aron Hakodesh (Aron Hakodesh) The aron hakodesh, or great cupboard facing Jerusalem, is found in every synagogue.
The commandments are inscribed on four walls of the aron hakodesh. Each day, after services, visitors are invited to view the commandments by signing a guestbook and tracing their path through the pages of the book.
The commandments are also displayed during special occasions such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. On these days, the aron hakodesh is covered with cloth to symbolize the covering the Israelites had over their holy objects when they entered the promised land.
During the holiday season, members of the congregation read excerpts from the Ten Commandments in different parts of the building. These readings highlight important values of the season. For example, at Christmas time, the commandments teach kindness to others by quoting King David: "Let your look be kind, your speech honest, your attitude positive, and your mission pure."
At Hanukkah, the reading focuses on gratitude to G-d for His blessings. The commandment to "honor your father and mother" is highlighted in particular.