Religious : : Religious Committee Report

In the Beginning…

For the past few weeks, and extending into the middle of December, we experience a lull in Jewish Holiday activity: the High Holy Day period during which we observed Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, then followed immediately by Succot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah have come and gone; Chanukah is more than a month away. This gap allows your Religious Committee Co-Chairs to do some teaching.

Have you ever wondered when and why synagogues started in history? Here are the facts:

The First Temple built in Jerusalem by King Solomon in 966 BCE had animal sacrifices conducted there by the priests and the practice of congregants praying had not yet been developed. Then the First Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE; the priests and educated members of the Jewish community were exiled to Babylonia. During the Babylonia captivity (586 – 537 BCE) ritual sacrifices were not permitted so temporary synagogues were created as a place for communal worship and instruction.

‘Synagogue’ is derived from the Greek synagein, which means “to bring together” and is a translation of the Hebrew term Bet Knesset “a house of gathering.”

Upon returning to Jerusalem from Babylonia, religious life was reorganized. While the Second Temple was built, congregational worship, consisting of prayer and the reading of sections from the Bible, continued and led to the building of permanent synagogues after the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 CE.

We can make the claim that Temple Judea is really more than 2,500 years old!

We look forward to seeing you on holidays and at our Minyan on Monday and Thursday mornings as well as our Shabbat services on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. We have so much to offer to our Temple family.

Sandy Shapiro and Arnold Miller, Co-Chairs