The extent to which the synagogue is the heart of a Jewish community

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  • The extent to which the synagogue is the heart of a Jewish community
    • Without having a synagogue at the heart of the community, it would be harder to maintain a Jewish lifestyle, and assimilation (process of absorbing/fully understanding) into the wider community might ensue (occur after as a result)
    • The synagogue provides a venue for all aspects of Jewish social life
    • It acts as a temporary replacement until the Temple, the most sacred place within Judaism, is rebuilt in Jerusalem once more. Particularly for Orthodox Jews
    • The Jewish home could be said to have a more central role within a Jewish community: it is possible to be Jewish without attending the synagogue on a regular basis
      • Also where Jewish children receive their earliest education and upbringing in the Jewish faith
    • Major events of Jewish life are celebrated at the synagogue; thus including all members of the faith community
      • Like bar/bat mitzvah and weddings
    • A typical synagogue is also the location for the community's bet midrash or schul for the study of scriptures and Hebrew
      • The Jewish community would be weakened without the availability of these things (+more)
    • One particular and important aspect is that the synagogue provides the community with the facilities for ritual purification e.g. the mikveh
    • It is possible to be a Jew without attending the synagogue. Indeed, apart from one or two occasions every year, such as Pesach and Yom Kippur, many Jews do not attend at all


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