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Questions and answers on Synagogues.

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Introduction

A)i)What does the word synagogue mean and how did synagogues come into being? ii) Describe the main features of a synagogue. ( 24 ) B) Explain why Jews variously describe a synagogue as : House of Assembly, house of study and house of prayer. What is the significance of these names for the life and beliefs of Jews today? ( 21 ) C) "Collective worship is essential for the orthodox Jew." Do you agree? Give reason s to support your answer and show that you have thought abut different points of view. ( 15 ) R.E GCSE Coursework A)i)What does the word synagogue mean and how did synagogues come into being? ii) Describe the main features of a synagogue. B) Explain why Jews variously describe a synagogue as : House of Assembly, house of study and house of prayer. What is the significance of these names for the life and beliefs of Jews today? C) "Collective worship is essential for the orthodox Jew." Do you agree? Give reason s to support your answer and show that you have thought abut different points of view. ...read more.

Middle

It seems that synagogues came into existence as part of retaliation to the Romans for the destruction caused by them to the Jewish community. Nowadays Synagogues are the most important institutions in every Jewish community, notably Jews face their Synagogues towards Jerusalem and pray towards there to symbolise their wish to someday return to Jerusalem. ii) The appearance of synagogues varies, on the outside and in the interior. On the outside, they deem it unnecessary to make it look elaborate on the outside. This is because the Jewish community do not try to convert outsiders. The synagogue is for themselves, so the exterior is fairly ordinary. One thing that is essential in every synagogue is that it must be facing towards Jerusalem. This is so they can pray towards Jerusalem. The interior has a few things that are essential to every synagogue, so this will be similar in each. This is a picture of the outside of a synagogue. It is fairly ordinary and bland, also even this is fairly elaborate compared to usual low key synagogues. ...read more.

Conclusion

They don't believe this of the women, as women are considered more naturally holy. So generally there are seats on the ground for the men, and a gallery above for the women. The women are put upstairs as opposed to the men because in Orthodox synagogues women play no part. This is due to the traditional way of worship undertaken by all Orthodox Jews. This is mainly because in Orthodox Judaism the men are not permitted to pray with women as their minds are supposed to be solely on prayer and God. The men work and do all the hard labour whilst the women look after the children, cook and prepare for Shabbat every week. The women, if married, must wear a head scarf so that only their husbands see them fully. However in Reform Judaism some traditional aspects are still undertaken, although the Ten Commandments have been "adjusted" to suit modern day needs, they also allow for equality amongst men and women and the woman's desire to also work. Some could argue that there is a lot more freedom in Reform Judaism for women; others argue that they shouldn't change the 'rules'. Part B The synagogue is thought of as many different things. ...read more.

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