Ancient Synagogues—Archaeology and Art: New Discoveries and by Rachel Hachlili PDF

By Rachel Hachlili

Historic Synagogues - Archaeology and paintings. New Discoveries and present learn offers archaeological proof - the structure, artwork, Jewish symbols, zodiac, biblical stories, inscriptions, and cash – which attest to the significance of the synagogue. whilst regarded as an entire, these kind of items of proof be sure the centrality of the synagogue establishment within the lifetime of the Jewish groups throughout Israel and within the Diaspora. most significantly, the synagogue and its artwork and structure performed a robust function within the renovation of the basic ideals, customs, and traditions of the Jewish humans following the destruction of the second one Temple and the lack of Jewish sovereignty within the Land of Israel. The booklet additionally encompasses a complement of the record at the Qazion excavation.

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Extra resources for Ancient Synagogues—Archaeology and Art: New Discoveries and Current Research (Handbook of Oriental Studies)

Sample text

Certainly it is conceivable that the pre-70 CE structures had didactic functions as well as being centres for assembly and for the community, but they were not places of cult or worship. As long as the Temple existed in Jerusalem, the Jews were careful to avoid any competition with it (the full description and discussion of the Second Temple structures is in Chapter II). It appears that the origins of the synagogue as an institution are to be found also in the assembly halls of the Second Temple period.

1979, II:425–426, 439–440; Trebilco 1991:134; Rajak and Noy 1993:76). Hengel (1975:27ff, 166) implies that the proseuche may have been influenced by Hellenistic shrines and that the term means ‘house of prayer’. Kasher (1987:122) maintains that for Egyptian Jews prayer was as important as sacrifice; thus the proseuche could discharge the non-sacrificial duties of the Temple and serve as a suitable location for expressions of faith. Grabbe (1988:402, n. 5) contends that proseuche can be interpreted as a form of Diaspora synagogue.

Here Jews could participate in ceremonies and in the teaching of the Law that were conducted in the Temple courtyards, and could settle administrative questions in the Temple courts (S. Safrai 1987). The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was a turning point in the creation of the synagogue, in terms of both architecture and the customs and rituals practiced. The response to the catastrophe of 70 CE was the adoption of Torah reading, study, and prayer as a replacement for the sacrificial cult, making public worship the custom of the synagogue.

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