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Judaism /
Synagogue
Hebrew: beit ha-kneset



Synagogue:
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The Ghriba synagogue in Hara Sghira, Jerba, Tunisia.

Synagogue: Inside the Ghriba synagogue in Hara Sghira, Jerba, Tunisia.
Synagogue: Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo, Egypt.

Synagogue: Interior of the Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo, Egypt.
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Ben Ezra synagogue in Cairo, Egypt.

The central house of religious activities in Jewish religion, and is the most important religious institution along with the temple of Jerusalem that was destroyed in 70 CE.
Today the synagogue functions as a substitute for the temple of Jerusalem. The synagogue is a symbol of the incompleteness of the Jewish religions, which all Jews feel.
The architectural shapes of synagogues are often eclectic, in the sense that it uses the local style of other religious buildings, even if this involve elements strange to Judaism.
The lay-out of the interior of the synagogue is governed by strict rules: Situated in the direction of Jerusalem, there is an ark containing the Torah. In front of this ark burns a candle. A table or a small pulpit is used for reciting from the Torah. And a 7-branched candelabrum is a central ornament in the synagogue.
In most synagogues, men and women sit apart, but this is not custom in synagogues used by Reformists and Conservatives.




By Tore Kjeilen