The ark in a synagogue is a receptacle, or ornamental closet, which contains each synagogue's Torah scrolls known as Heikhal in some Jewish dialects. Aron kodesh comes from Holy Ark.. This name is a reference to the ’ārōn haqqōdeš, the Hebrew name for the Ark of the Covenant, stored in the Holy of Holies in the inner sanctuary of both the ancient Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem. Hekhál written hechal, echal or heichal — and sometimes Echal Kodesh comes from Hebrew הֵיכָל ‘palace’, was used in the same time period to refer to the inner sanctuary; the hekhal contained the Menorah, Altar of Incense, Table of the Showbread. Most arks feature a parokhet placed either outside the doors of the holy ark or inside the doors of the ark; the ark is known in Hebrew as the aron kodesh by the Ashkenazim and as the'menjia among most Sefardim. The ark is placed on the wall of the sanctuary, facing Jerusalem, though it is sometimes placed on the north wall or another wall for architectural reasons. In those cases where the ark does not show the direction to Jerusalem, traditional Judaism instructs the worshiper to face the true direction towards Jerusalem in prayers such as the Amidah.
In some ancient synagogues, such as the fifth-century synagogue in Susia, the Torah scroll was not placed inside the synagogue at all, but in a room adjacent to it, signifying that the sacredness of the synagogue does not come from the ark but from its being a house of prayer. The Torah was brought into the synagogue for reading purposes. “Aron Kodesh” in Jewish Encyclopedia
Passover called Pesach, is a major, biblically derived Jewish holiday. Jews celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation by God from slavery in ancient Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses, it commemorates the story of the Exodus as described in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Exodus, in which the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. According to standard biblical chronology, this event would have taken place at about 1300 BCE. Passover is a spring festival which during the existence of the Temple in Jerusalem was connected to the offering of the "first-fruits of the barley", barley being the first grain to ripen and to be harvested in the Land of Israel. Passover commences on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan and lasts for either seven days or eight days for Orthodox and most Conservative Jews. In Judaism, a day commences at dusk and lasts until the following dusk, thus the first day of Passover begins after dusk of the 14th of Nisan and ends at dusk of the 15th day of the month of Nisan.
The rituals unique to the Passover celebrations commence with the Passover Seder when the 15th of Nisan has begun. In the Northern Hemisphere Passover takes place in spring as the Torah prescribes it: "in the month of spring", it is one of the most celebrated Jewish holidays. In the narrative of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God helped the Children of Israel escape from their slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before the Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves; the Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in these homes, hence the English name of the holiday. When the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason Passover is called the feast of unleavened bread in the Torah.
Thus matzo is eaten during Passover and it is a tradition of the holiday. Together with Shavuot and Sukkot, Passover is one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals during which the entire population of the kingdom of Judah made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Samaritans still make this pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim; the Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan, which falls in March or April of the Gregorian calendar. Passover is a spring festival, so the 15th day of Nisan begins on the night of a full moon after the northern vernal equinox. However, due to leap months falling after the vernal equinox, Passover sometimes starts on the second full moon after vernal equinox, as in 2016. To ensure that Passover did not start before spring, the tradition in ancient Israel held that the first day of Nisan would not start until the barley was ripe, being the test for the onset of spring. If the barley was not ripe, or various other phenomena indicated that spring was not yet imminent, an intercalary month would be added.
However, since at least the 4th century, the date has been fixed mathematically. In Israel, Passover is the seven-day holiday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, with the first and last days celebrated as legal holidays and as holy days involving holiday meals, special prayer services, abstention from work. Diaspora Jews celebrated the festival for eight days. Reform and Reconstructionist Jews and Israeli Jews, wherever they are celebrate the holiday over seven days; the reason for this extra day is due to enactment of the ancient Jewish sages. It is thought by many scholars that Jews outside of Israel could not be certain if their local calendars conformed to practice of the Temple at Jerusalem, so they added an extra day, but as this practice attaches only to certain sacred days, others posit the extra day may have been added to accommodate people who had to travel long distances to participate in communal worship and ritual practices. Karaites and Samaritans use different versions of the Jewish calendar, which are out of sync with the modern Jewish calendar by one or two days.
In 2009, for example, Nisan 15 on the Jewish calendar used by Rabbinic Judaism corresponds to April 9. On the calendars used by Karaites and Samaritans, Abib or Aviv 15 corresponds to April 11 in 2009; the Karaite and Samaritan Passovers are each one day long, followed by the six-day Festival of Unleavened Bread – for a total of seven days. The origins of the Passover festival antedate the Exodus; the Passover ritual, prior to Deuteronomy, is thought to have its origins in an apotropaic rite, unrelated to the Exodus, to ensure the protection of a family home, a rite conducted wholly within a clan. Hyssop was employed to daub the blood of a slaughtered sheep on the lintels and door posts to ensure that demonic forces could not enter the home. A further hypothesis maintains that, once the Priestly Code was promulgated, the exodus narrative took on a central fu
Yom Kippur known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Its central themes are repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with an approximate 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom means "day" in Hebrew and Kippur comes from a root that means "to atone". Yom Kippur is expressed in English as "Day of Atonement". Yom Kippur is "the tenth day of seventh month" and is regarded as the "Sabbath of Sabbaths". Rosh Hashanah is the first day of that month according to the Hebrew calendar. On this day forgiveness of sins is asked of God. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im that commences with Rosh Hashanah. According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jew tries to amend his or her behavior and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God and against other human beings.
The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt. At the end of Yom Kippur, one hopes; the Yom Kippur prayer service includes several unique aspects. One is the actual number of prayer services. Unlike a regular day, which has three prayer services, or a Shabbat or Yom Tov, which have four prayer services, Yom Kippur has five prayer services; the prayer services include private and public confessions of sins and a unique prayer dedicated to the special Yom Kippur avodah of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. As one of the most culturally significant Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur is observed by many secular Jews who may not observe other holidays. Many secular Jews attend synagogue on Yom Kippur—for many secular Jews the High Holy Days are the only times of the year during which they attend synagogue—causing synagogue attendance to soar. Erev Yom Kippur is the day preceding Yom Kippur, corresponding to the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei.
This day is commemorated with additional morning prayers, asking others for forgiveness, giving charity, performing the kapparot ritual, an extended afternoon prayer service, two festive meals. Leviticus 16:29 mandates establishment of this holy day on the 10th day of the 7th month as the day of atonement for sins, it calls it the Sabbath of a day upon which one must afflict one's soul. Leviticus 23:27 decrees. Five additional prohibitions are as detailed in the Jewish oral tradition; the number five is a set number, relating to: In the Yom Kippur section of the Torah, the word soul appears five times. The soul is known by five separate names: soul, spirit, living one and unique one. Unlike regular days, which have three prayer services, Yom Kippur has five- Maariv, Mussaf and Neilah The Kohen Gadol rinsed himself in the mikveh five times on Yom Kippur; the traditions are as follows: No eating and drinking No wearing of leather shoes No bathing or washing No anointing oneself with perfumes or lotions No marital relationsA parallel has been drawn between these activities and the human condition according to the Biblical account of the expulsion from the garden of Eden.
Refraining from these symbolically represents a return to a pristine state, the theme of the day. By refraining from these activities, the body can still survive; the soul is considered to be the life force in a body. Therefore, by making one’s body uncomfortable, one’s soul is uncomfortable. By feeling pain one can feel; this is the purpose of the prohibitions. Total abstention from food and drink as well as keeping the other traditions begins at sundown, ends after nightfall the following day. One should add a few minutes to the beginning and end of the day, called tosefet Yom Kippur, lit. "addition to Yom Kippur". Although the fast is required of all healthy men over 13 or women over 12, it is waived in the case of certain medical conditions. All Jewish holidays involve meals, but since Yom Kippur involves fasting, Jewish law requires one to eat a large and festive meal on the afternoon before Yom Kippur, after the Mincha prayer; this meal is meant to make up for the inability to eat a large meal on the day of Yom Kippur instead, due to the prohibition from eating or drinking.
Wearing white clothing, is traditional to symbolize one's purity on this day. Many Orthodox men immerse themselves in a mikveh on the day before Yom Kippur. In order to gain atonement from God, one must: Pray Repent of one's sins Give to charity Before sunset on Yom Kippur eve, worshipers gather in the synagogue; the Ark is opened and two people take from it two Sifrei Torah. They take their places, one on each side of the Hazzan, the three recite: In the tribunal of Heaven and the tribunal of earth, we hold it lawful to pray with transgressors; the cantor chants the Kol Nidre prayer. It is recited in Aramaic, its name "Kol Nidre" is taken fro
Torah has a range of meanings. It can most mean the first five books of the 24 books of the Tanakh, it is printed with the rabbinic commentaries, it can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or rabbinic writings. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the origin of Jewish peoplehood: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the Oral Torah; the Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah that exists today.
According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian captivity, based on earlier written sources and oral traditions, that it was completed during the period of Achaemenid rule. Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases of Jewish communal life; the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means'to guide' or'to teach'. The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the Alexandrian Jews who translated the Septuagint used the Greek word nomos, meaning norm, doctrine, "law". Greek and Latin Bibles began the custom of calling the Pentateuch The Law. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, guidance, or system.
The term "Torah" is used in the general sense to include both Rabbinic Judaism's written law and Oral Law, serving to encompass the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash and more, the inaccurate rendering of "Torah" as "Law" may be an obstacle to understanding the ideal, summed up in the term talmud torah. The earliest name for the first part of the Bible seems to have been "The Torah of Moses"; this title, however, is found neither in the Torah itself, nor in the works of the pre-Exilic literary prophets. It appears in Joshua and Kings. In contrast, there is every likelihood that its use in the post-Exilic works was intended to be comprehensive. Other early titles were "The Book of Moses" and "The Book of the Torah", which seems to be a contraction of a fuller name, "The Book of the Torah of God". Christian scholars refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible as the'Pentateuch', a term first used in the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria.
The Torah starts from the beginning of God's creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, the giving of the Torah at biblical Mount Sinai. It ends with the death of Moses, just before the people of Israel cross to the promised land of Canaan. Interspersed in the narrative are the specific teachings given explicitly or implicitly embedded in the narrative. In Hebrew, the five books of the Torah are identified by the incipits in each book, it is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God; the Ancestral history tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people
Kiddush Levanah is a Jewish ritual, performed outside at night, in which a series of prayers are recited to bless the new moon. The source of the Kiddush Levana is in the Babylonian Talmud, Rabbi Yochanan taught that one who blesses the new moon, in its proper time, is regarded like one who greets the Shechinah, as it is written in Exodus 12:2:, "This month ” This verse in Exodus 12:2 is the source of what is considered to be the first commandment in the Torah, to sanctify the new month, is based on the lunar calendar. Although Kiddush levana is not the method of sanctifying the new month, we may be able to understand Rabbi Yochanan's opinion that one who ‘blesses the new moon’, is showing respect to the first commandment in the Torah, therefore it is like greeting the Shechinah. Many synagogues post the text of the prayer in large type on an outside wall; the Kiddush levana ceremony is performed on the first sighting of the new moon - performance at this time is deemed בזמנה - in its proper time, with some opining that only is the blessing said while standing.
Among the Mekubalim, Rabbi Chayim Vital adopted the view of the ceremony being done on the first night of the new moon. However, the popular custom is to wait three complete days after the occurrence of the molad, or appearance of the new moon, with some waiting seven days; the latest time for Kiddush Levanah is mid-month, i.e. fourteen days, eighteen hours and twenty-two minutes after the molad. It is customary to say Kiddush Levanah at the conclusion of Shabbat; the moon must be visible and not covered by clouds and the ceremony is performed outside. While it is customary to say the prayer with the large crowd after the Saturday evening services, or at least with a minyan, it can be said without a minyan and in the middle of the week. In places where cloudy or rainy weather is common, many people will recite the blessing as soon as they see the moon for the first time after the "three days". In the month of Tishrei, it is delayed until after the conclusion of Yom Kippur. In the month of Av, it is traditionally postponed to following the fast of Tisha B'Av, as the beginning of the month is a time of mourning and the prayer should be said in a spirit of joy.
If a holiday falls on Sunday, Kiddush Levanah is delayed until after that day. It is customary to say additional passages that were added to this blessing in the 16th century by Rabbi Yitzhak Luria; these are Kabbalistic verses and it is difficult to understand their deeper meaning. Lunar phase Jewish holidays Jewish prayer service Text of Kiddush Levanah
Sukkot translated as Festival of Tabernacles known as Chag HaAsif, the Festival of Ingathering, is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month, Tishrei. During the existence of the Jerusalem Temple, it was one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals on which the Israelites were commanded to perform a pilgrimage to the Temple; the names used in the Torah are Chag HaAsif, translated to "Festival of Ingathering" or "Harvest Festival", Chag HaSukkot, translated to "Festival of Booths". This corresponds to the double significance of Sukkot; the one mentioned in the Book of Exodus is agricultural in nature—"Festival of Ingathering at the year's end" —and marks the end of the harvest time and thus of the agricultural year in the Land of Israel. The more elaborate religious significance from the Book of Leviticus is that of commemorating the Exodus and the dependence of the People of Israel on the will of God; the holiday lasts eight in the diaspora. The first day is a Shabbat-like holiday.
This is followed by intermediate days called Chol Hamoed. The festival is closed with another Shabbat-like holiday called Shemini Atzeret. Shemini Atzeret coincides with the eighth day of Sukkot outside Israel; the Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, "booth" or "tabernacle", a walled structure covered with s'chach. A sukkah is the name of the temporary dwelling in which farmers would live during harvesting, a fact connecting to the agricultural significance of the holiday stressed by the Book of Exodus; as stated in Leviticus, it is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Throughout the holiday, meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many people sleep there as well. On each day of the holiday it is mandatory to perform a waving ceremony with the Four Species. In the Book of Leviticus, God told Moses to command the people: "On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, willows of the brook", "You shall live in booths seven days.
The origins of Sukkot are both agricultural. Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag HaAsif, as it celebrates the gathering of the harvest. Sukkot is a seven-day festival, with the first day celebrated as a full festival with special prayer services and holiday meals; the seventh day of Sukkot has a special observance of its own. Outside Israel, the first and last two days are celebrated as full festivals; the intermediate days are known as Chol HaMoed. According to Halakha, some types of work are forbidden during Chol HaMoed. In Israel many businesses are closed during this time. Throughout the week of Sukkot, meals are eaten in the sukkah. If a brit milah or Bar Mitzvah rises during Sukkot, the seudat mitzvah is served in the sukkah; the father of a newborn boy greets guests to his Friday-night Shalom Zachar in the sukkah.
Males awaken there. Every day, a blessing is recited over the Etrog. Keeping of Sukkot is detailed in the Hebrew Bible; the sukkah walls can be constructed of any material. The walls can include the sides of a building or porch; the roof must be of organic material, known as s'chach, such as leafy tree overgrowth, schach mats or palm fronds - plant material, no longer connected with the earth. It is customary to decorate the interior of the sukkah with hanging decorations of the four species as well as with attractive artwork. Prayers during Sukkot include the reading of the Torah every day, reciting the Mussaf service after morning prayers, reciting Hallel, adding special additions to the Amidah and Grace after Meals. In addition, the service includes rituals involving the Four Species; the lulav and etrog are not brought to the synagogue on Shabbat. On each day of the festival, worshippers walk around the synagogue carrying the Four Species while reciting special prayers known as Hoshanot; this takes place either at the end of Mussaf.
This ceremony commemorates the willow ceremony at the Temple in Jerusalem, in which willow branches were piled beside the altar with worshippers parading around the altar reciting prayers. A custom originating with Lurianic Kabbalah is to recite the ushpizin prayer to "invite" one of seven "exalted guests" into the sukk
The Sanhedrin were assemblies of either twenty-three or seventy-one rabbis appointed to sit as a tribunal in every city in the ancient Land of Israel. There were two classes of rabbinical courts called Sanhedrin, the Great Sanhedrin and the Lesser Sanhedrin. A lesser Sanhedrin of 23 judges was appointed to each city, but there was to be only one Great Sanhedrin of 71 judges, which among other roles acted as the Supreme Court, taking appeals from cases decided by lesser courts. In general usage, "The Sanhedrin" without qualifier refers to the Great Sanhedrin, composed of the Nasi, who functioned as head or representing president, was a member of the court. In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Temple in Jerusalem, in a building called the Hall of Hewn Stones; the Great Sanhedrin convened every day except the sabbath day. After the destruction of the Second Temple and the failure of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the Great Sanhedrin moved to Galilee, which became part of the Roman province of Syria Palaestina.
In this period the Sanhedrin was sometimes referred as the Galilean Patriarchate or Patriarchate of Palaestina, being the governing legal body of Galilean Jewry. In the late 200s, to avoid persecution, the name "Sanhedrin" was dropped and its decisions were issued under the name of Beit HaMidrash; the last universally binding decision of the Great Sanhedrin appeared in 358 CE, when the Hebrew Calendar was abandoned. The Great Sanhedrin was disbanded in 425 CE after continued persecution by the Eastern Roman Empire. Over the centuries, there have been attempts to revive the institution, such as the Grand Sanhedrin convened by Napoleon Bonaparte, modern attempts in Israel. In the Hebrew Bible and the Israelites were commanded by God to establish courts of judges who were given full authority over the people of Israel, who were commanded by God to obey every word the judges instructed and every law they established. Judges in ancient Israel were the religious teachers of the nation of Israel; the Mishnah arrives at the number twenty-three based on an exegetical derivation: it must be possible for a "community" to vote for both conviction and exoneration.
The minimum size of a "community" is 10 men. One more is required to achieve a majority, but a simple majority cannot convict, so an additional judge is required. A court should not have an number of judges to prevent deadlocks; this court dealt with only religious matters. The Hasmonean court in the Land of Israel, presided over by Alexander Jannaeus, king of Judea until 76 BCE, followed by his wife, was called Synhedrion or Sanhedrin; the exact nature of this early Sanhedrin is not clear. It may have been a body of sages or priests, or a political and judicial institution; the first historical record of the body was during the administration of Aulus Gabinius, according to Josephus, organized five synedra in 57 BCE as Roman administration was not concerned with religious affairs unless sedition was suspected. Only after the destruction of the Second Temple was the Sanhedrin made up only of sages; the first historic mention of a Synhedrion occurs in the Psalms of Solomon, a Jewish religious book written in Greek.
A Synhedrion is mentioned 22 times in the Greek New Testament, including in the Gospels in relation to the trial of Jesus, in the Acts of the Apostles, which mentions a ″Great Synhedrion″ in chapter 5 where rabbi Gamaliel appeared, in chapter 7 in relation to the stoning death of Saint Stephen. The Mishnah tractate Sanhedrin states that the Sanhedrin was to be recruited from the following sources: Priests and ordinary Jews who were members of those families having a pure lineage such that their daughters were allowed to marry priests. In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Hall of Hewn Stones in the Temple in Jerusalem; the court convened every day except the sabbath day. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, the Sanhedrin was re-established in Yavneh with reduced authority; the seat of the Patriarchate moved to Usha under the presidency of Gamaliel II in 80 CE. In 116 it moved back to Yavneh, again back to Usha. Rabbinic texts indicate that following the Bar Kokhba revolt, southern Galilee became the seat of rabbinic learning in the Land of Israel.
This region was the location of the court of the Patriarch, situated first at Usha at Bet Shearim at Sepphoris and at Tiberias. The Great Sanhedrin moved in 140 to Shefaram under the presidency of Shimon ben Gamliel II, to Beit Shearim and Sepphoris in 163, under the presidency of Judah I, it moved to Tiberias in 193, under the presidency of Gamaliel III ben Judah haNasi, where it became more of a consistory, but still retained, under the presidency of Judah II, the power of excommunication. During the presidency of Gamaliel IV, due to Roman persecution, it dropped the name Sanhedrin. In the year 363, the emperor Julian, an apostate from Christianity, ordered the Temple rebuilt; the project's failure has been ascribed to the Galilee earthquake of 363, to the Jews' ambivalence about the project. Sabotage is a possibility. Divine intervention was the common view among Christian historians of the tim