Skip to main content

synagogue

synagogue (sĬn´əgŏg) [Gr.,=assembly], in Judaism, a place of assembly for worship, education, and communal affairs. The origins of the institution are unclear. One tradition dates it to the Babylonian exile of the 6th cent. BC The returnees may have brought back with them the basic structure that was to be developed by the 1st cent. AD into a well-defined institution around which Jewish religious, intellectual, and communal life was to be centered from this earliest period into the present. Other scholars believe the synagogue arose after the Hasmonean revolt (167–164 BC) as a Pharisaic alternative to the Temple cult. The destruction of the Temple (AD 70) and the Diaspora over the following centuries increased the synagogue's importance. Services in the synagogue were conducted in a simpler manner than in the Temple. There was no officially appointed priest, the services being conducted by a chazan (reader). The role the synagogue played in preserving Judaism intact through the centuries cannot be overestimated, nor can its influence as an intellectual and cultural force. In the modern period, the reform movement restricted its scope to almost purely religious purposes, although among the Orthodox Jews its purview did not diminish. In more recent times the synagogue has again taken on its former functions as a social and communal center. The architectural appearance of the synagogue has usually not differed from that of local non-Jewish forms. The interior includes an ark in which the Torah scrolls are held and a platform from which they are read. In modern times, a pulpit from which to preach has also become common, and in many synagogues the three are combined on one platform. In the United States, the national synagogue associations, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, the United Synagogue of America (Conservative), and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) are organized in the Synagogue Council of America.

See U. Kaploun, ed., The Synagogue (1973); A. Eisenberg, The Synagogue through the Ages (1974); C. H. Krinsky, Synagogues of Europe (1987).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"synagogue." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"synagogue." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/synagogue

"synagogue." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/synagogue

Synagogue

Synagogue (Heb., bet keneset). Jewish meeting house and place of worship. The synagogue, in embryonic form, may perhaps date back to the period of the Babylonian exile. By the 1st cent. CE, the synagogue emerges as a well-established institution. With the calamity of 70 CE, the synagogue became the main focus of Jewish religious life. Many of the rituals and customs of the Temple were adopted in the synagogue (e.g. the times of the Temple sacrifices became the times of the synagogue prayers), and the synagogue also performed the function of a community centre. Different patterns of architecture have been followed in synagogue buildings. Many modern Orthodox synagogues have a small synagogue nearby, known as a bet ha-midrash, which is used for weekday services. In addition there are community halls and facilities for synagogue schools. The Reform movement has built impressive synagogues (known as Temples in the USA); they have no special section for women; the bimah is generally placed in front of the Ark (so there is more room for seating) and there is often an organ and choir loft. Synagogues are grouped into organizations (e.g. The United Synagogue, The Federation of Synagogues, and the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (all British Orthodox organizations)) and rabbinic training is controlled by the organizations who sponsor the rabbinical seminaries.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Synagogue." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Synagogue." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue

"Synagogue." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue

synagogue

synagogue. Building or place of meeting for Jewish worship and religious instruction. Early surviving examples have affinities with Roman basilicas, with the Ark of the Covenant containing the Scrolls of the Law placed in a niche or an apse. Stylistically, Western synagogues conformed to the period and place where they were erected, although late-C19 examples tended to favour a round-arched Byzantine Romanesque style, sometimes with orientalizing detail, especially in Germany and England (e.g. Prince's Road, Toxteth, Liverpool, Synagogue (1874–82) by George Ashdowne Audsley (1838–1925)). Many fine examples of timber-framed synagogues existed in Poland before the 1939–45 war, but the architectural losses of synagogues during the Nazi domination of Europe were catastrophic.

Bibliography

Chiat (1982);
Krinsky (1996);
Meek (1994);
W. Papworth (1887)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"synagogue." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"synagogue." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue

"synagogue." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue

synagogue

synagogue the regular assembly of Jews for religious observance and instruction; a building or place of worship for this purpose. The word is recorded from Middle English and comes via Old French and late Latin from Greek sunagōgē ‘meeting’.

In religious controversy from the Middle Ages, the word was given derogatory use as a term for an assembly of the wicked or heretical; in medieval iconography, Synagogue may be shown as a blindfolded figure contrasted with the sighted Church.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"synagogue." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"synagogue." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue

"synagogue." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue

synagogue

syn·a·gogue / ˈsinəˌgäg/ • n. the building where a Jewish assembly or congregation meets for religious worship and instruction. ∎  such a Jewish assembly or congregation. DERIVATIVES: syn·a·gog·al / ˌsinəˈgägəl; -ˈgôgəl/ adj. syn·a·gog·i·cal / ˌsinəˈgäjikəl/ adj.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"synagogue." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"synagogue." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-1

"synagogue." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-1

synagogue

synagogue Place of assembly for Jewish worship, education and cultural development. Synagogues serve as communal centres, under the leadership of a rabbi, and house the Ark of the Covenant. The first synagogue buildings date from the 3rd century bc, but may go back to the destruction (586 bc) of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"synagogue." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"synagogue." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/synagogue-0

"synagogue." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/synagogue-0

synagogue

synagogue congregation of Jews for worship XII; building for Jewish worship XIII. ME. sinagoge — OF. sinagoge (mod. synagogue) — late L. synagōga — Gr. sunagōgḗ meeting, assembly, in LXX. synagogue, f. sunágein bring together, assemble, f. SYN- + ágein lead, bring (cf. ACT).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"synagogue." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"synagogue." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-2

"synagogue." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-2

Synagogue

Synagogue

an assembly; a congregation of Jews, 1175; of Rome, 1674; of Satan, 1565.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Synagogue." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Synagogue." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-0

"Synagogue." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-0

synagogue

synagogueagog, befog, blog, bog, clog, cog, dog, flog, fog, frog, grog, hog, Hogg, hotdog, jog, log, nog, prog, slog, smog, snog, sprog, tautog, tog, trog, wog •hangdog • lapdog • seadog • sheepdog •watchdog • bulldog • gundog • firedog •underdog • pettifog • pedagogue •demagogue • synagogue • sandhog •hedgehog • warthog • groundhog •roadhog • backlog • Kellogg • weblog •eclogue •epilogue (US epilog) •prologue (US prolog) • footslog •ideologue •dialogue (US dialog) • duologue •Decalogue •analog, analogue (US analog) •monologue • apologue •catalogue (US catalog) • travelogue •eggnog • leapfrog • bullfrog •Taganrog •golliwog, polliwog •phizog • Herzog

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"synagogue." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"synagogue." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-0

"synagogue." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved May 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/synagogue-0