Worship is undertaken at a Synagogue. The holy day is Saturday (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) – Shabbat. There are many different festivals celebrated by Jews.

THE TEMPLE & THE SYNAGOGUEThe Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

1. The early Hebrews believed their God required animal sacrifice.

2. King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6&7). It took 7½ years to complete. According to Jewish tradition as the Temple symbolised peace, tools of iron (symbol of warfare) could not be used to construct the Temple.

3. The Temple was destroyed in 586B.C by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and the people were taken in to captivity.

4. When the captives returned in 538B.C they started to rebuild the Temple – it was not completed until 515BC.

5. King Herod undertook major alterations 430 years later to bring the Temple back to its former glory.

6. This was destroyed by the Romans in 70C.E.

7. The Temple had been used to celebrate the Festivals of the Tabernacles (SUCCOT), Pentecost (SHAVUOT) and the Passover (PESACH). It was also used for daily sacrifice. Each day two animals were sacrificed, morning & afternoon – – over 700 animals were sacrificed each year.


1. Judaism’s main institution. The insides of the synagogues contain the same basic furnishings and symbols:

The Ark – which houses the Scrolls

The Perpetual Flame (NER TAMID) – reminder of the light that burnt night & day in the Temple in Jerusalem.

¨ A platform (BIMA) at the front and a reading desk from which the TORAH is read, and the Cantor conducts worship.

¨ Services are held 2/3 times per day but 10 males over 13 have to be present.

¨ In the Orthodox synagogue men & women sit separately. In the Reform synagogue they sit together.

¨ On the eve of the Sabbath there is a service to welcome the Sabbath as a bride.