Ancient Synagogues—Archaeology and Art: New Discoveries and by Rachel Hachlili

By Rachel Hachlili

Historical Synagogues - Archaeology and artwork. New Discoveries and present examine provides archaeological facts - the structure, paintings, Jewish symbols, zodiac, biblical stories, inscriptions, and cash – which attest to the significance of the synagogue. while regarded as a complete, these kind of items of facts be certain the centrality of the synagogue establishment within the lifetime of the Jewish groups throughout Israel and within the Diaspora. most significantly, the synagogue and its paintings and structure performed a strong position within the maintenance of the basic ideals, customs, and traditions of the Jewish humans following the destruction of the second one Temple and the lack of Jewish sovereignty within the Land of Israel. The publication additionally encompasses a complement of the document at the Qazion excavation.

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Extra info for Ancient Synagogues—Archaeology and Art: New Discoveries and Current Research (Handbook of Oriental Studies)

Sample text

A central hall, occasionally with structures attached to it, composed the main building. The most prominent interior synagogue feature was the Torah shrine; worship took place facing Jerusalem. Archaeological remains of synagogues illuminate various aspects of Jewish life which are otherwise sparsely documented: these include the importance of symbolic, decorative and representational art in local Jewish life. The largest concentration of synagogue remains in the Galilee can be dated from the end of the second c.

In some ancient Near East cities, religious practice consisted of the worship of gods at the city gate. Levine further claims that 14 chapter one the transition from the city gate to the synagogue building occurred in the Hellenistic period, when the city gate underwent a change and became strictly functional. The need for a new setting for the abovementioned activities eventually created the synagogue; the lack of data makes it difficult to indicate a precise date for this transition or to trace the process.

Two aspects of the synagogue’s origin should be considered: is there enough evidence to sustain the contention that “the earliest dated evidence indicates the time of origin” and, does the mention of synagogues in early inscriptions from Hellenistic Egypt indicate that they began there and then? 1 Textual and Epigraphic Evidence Literary sources, such as Josephus (Against Apion 2. 175) and the New Testament (Acts 15:21), attest to the existence of synagogues in the first c. as centres of scripture reading and study (see Oster 1993; Cohen 1997; McKay 1998:105, 118–128; Levine 2000:124–129; Claussen 2003:150–152).

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