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Judaism The Synagogue. The Synagogue The Synagogue is the Jewish holy place. The word synagogue means meeting place. It is used for worship, learning ,weddings and festivals. The Rabbi. The Rabbi is the person who is in charge of the Synagogue. He carries out a similar job to a priest in a Christian church. Inside the synagogue. Inside the synagogue on the western wall facing the holy city of Jerusalem, is the Ark. This contains the Torah scrolls on which the Holy scriptures are written. The Torah scrolls. The scrolls are taken out of the ark each time they are read in the synagogue The Torah scroll. The Torah scrolls are dressed in a velvet jacket called the MANTLE. The mantle symbolises the robes worn by the Temple priests in ancient times. The Torah scroll. When the Torah is being read the mantle is removed. As the scroll is so sacred it is not allowed to be touched by hand.Therefore a YAD is used this is a silver pointing instrument. The 10 commandments. Near to the Ark you can see the Ten commandments written on tablets of stone. The scriptures tell that when they were first given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai they were written on tablets of stone. The 10 commandments. In the Synagogue ,however, the tablets only show the first two words of each commandment in Hebrew ,the traditional language of the Jews. Ner Tamid. Above the ark is a light that is always kept burning. This reminds Jews of the light that was always kept burning in the temple in Jerusalem hundreds of years ago. It symbolises the presence of God,which Jews believe is always around them.It is called the NER TAMID Seating arrangements. In most synagogues men and women sit separately.With women sitting in a area called the gallery and the men sat in the main area below. In some synagogues called REFORM synagogues families are allowed to sit together. What happens at the Synagogue? The synagogue is used for many special occasions as well as for worship. Jewish weddings. Most Jewish Weddings take place in the synagogue. The Bride and Groom stand under the huppah or wedding canopy. Bar Mitzvah. Bar mitzvah ceremonies also take place in the synagogue. This is a ceremony that takes place when the Jewish boy is 13. After the service the boy is responsible for his own faith.In the synagogue he has now entered adulthood. Bat Mitzvah. A Bat Mitzvah is the ceremony that takes place when a Jewish girl is 12. Bat Mitzvah. A Bat Mitzvah can only take place in a REFORM synagogue. The Girl is then accepted as an adult. IN BOTH ceremonies the boy and girl must read from the torah in Hebrew in front of all their friends and family. FESTIVALS. The synagogue is also the place where many Jewish people meet to celebrate their festivals such as Rosh Hashanah,which marks the start of the Jewish new year. Special clothes. In the synagogue special clothes are worn for prayer. These clothes are very symbolic and are often given as gifts for Bar / Bat mitzvah ceremonies. What are the special clothes? Jewish men and Women all wear a prayer shawl called the TALLIT.The fringes symbolise the 613 commandments. They also wear TEFILLIN leather straps with small boxes around their forearm and forehead it contains extracts from the Torah. They also where a KIPPAR A small head covering OUR VISIT. ENJOY YOUR VISIT TO THE REFORM SYNAGOGUE. LOOK OUT FOR ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE LEARNT ABOUT.