Essay on Roles of the Synagogue

Essay on Roles of the Synagogue

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Roles of the Synagogue

The synagogue is a place for the Jewish people to worship God, or more
particularly, where Jewish people can hear the Torah being read and
pray to God. As well as functioning as a House of Prayer, or 'Beit ha
Tefilah', the synagogue is also known as House of Assembly, 'Beit ha
Knesset' and House of Study, 'Beit ha Midrash'.

'On three things the world stands', says the Mishnah, 'On the study of
the Torah, on worship and on deeds of kindness'. This quote reflects
the functions of the synagogue distinctly. 'The study of the Torah' is
the reason the name 'House of Study' is given to the synagogue. The
Torah is guidance to how Jews live; it is the fundamental basis of
Judaism. 'On worship', the first commandment is to 'Worship one God',
this shows the importance of worship and is the reason the name 'House
of Prayer' is given to the synagogue. Worshipping together also gives
more glory to God. 'On deeds of kindness', this is a suggestion of
giving charity, and in a community you are and support one another.
Charity suggests assembly because you gather together to show charity
and 'deeds of kindness' to one another and others around.

The synagogue is known as House of Assembly, 'Beit ha Knesset'. This
reflects the fact that the synagogue is a place for Jewish people to
meet together as a community. Jews share important facets of their
lives with one another and achieve a great sense of community. Notice
boards at the entrance of synagogues advertise forthcoming events such
as lectures and outings. Social and cultural activities take place in
the synagogue as well as charity events.

In the Northwood Orthodox ...

... middle of paper ...

...e special day of rest' by Rabbi Brawer in the leaflet,
emphasising the importance of the prayers on this particular day.
'Striving to uncover the depth and substance of prayer', this is what
takes place on Shabbat, once again reinforcing the power and
importance of prayer in Orthodox Judaism.

In the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, more emphasis is laid
on social activities. In the leaflet there is only a small section on
Prayer, which shows the ritual acts are not concentrated on as much as
the ethical acts, as previously mentioned.

Prayers are a mode of worship, a way to serve God. Prayer also binds
the community together and serves the individual's spiritual needs.
Since prayer services incorporate study and celebration, the three
functions of the synagogue reflected in the three names, come

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