Ancient Synagogues in the Land of Israel
Duration: 1 days
What to bring: Modest dress required, hat, high-topped shoes, water. Bible
Language: The tour is originally in English.
During the period following the destruction of the Second Temple, synagogues served as an alternative ("surrogate temple"), a place where the community gathered and prayed and celebrated happy events such as marriage, Bar Mitzvah, etc. The first synagogues at the beginning served as a gathering place for study and only later developed into what we now know with the order of prayers, Torah scrolls, etc. The construction of the synagogue required resources, it was usually the largest structure in the community, and the the names of donors to its construction were displayed. The decorations and art were of biblical motifs, temple vessels, etc. Almost all of the adornment showed the Menorah symbol.
We will tour the ancient synagogues in the Golan Heights, the Galilee, around the Sea of Galilee, the Jezreel Valley and Mount Hebron. Our tour will include contemporary synagogues in Safed, Acre and Jerusalem. We will discuss the main points of Jewish prayer, the meanings of mezuza, tefillin, tallit and tzitzit, Torah scroll, Talmud and major Jewish literature. On a separate tour we will see synagogues that were built by communities when they immigrated to Eretz Israel, such as the Cochin communities, the Algerian synagogue, Djerba and more.