World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Torah ark

Article Id: WHEBN0000855808
Reproduction Date:

Title: Torah ark  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bet-El Synagogue (Caracas), Synagogue of Livorno, Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center, Szeged Synagogue, Maon Synagogue
Collection: Synagogue Architecture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Torah ark

Torah Ark of the Szeged Synagogue

The Torah ark or ark in a synagogue (Jewish house of worship) is known in Hebrew as the Aron Kodesh by the Ashkenazim and as the Hekhál amongst most Sefardim.[1] It is generally a receptacle, or ornamental closet, which contains each synagogue's Torah scrolls (Sifrei Torah in Hebrew). In most cases, when possible, the ark is located on the wall of the synagogue closest to Jerusalem.

Contents

  • Origin of the names 1
    • Aron Kodesh 1.1
    • Hekhál 1.2
  • Placement and structure 2
  • Gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Origin of the names

Aron Kodesh

Aron Kodesh comes from Hebrew אָרוֹן קׄדֶש ʼārōn qōdeš (i.e. aron kodesh), Holy Ark. This name is a reference to the ’ārōn haqqōdeš, the Hebrew name for the Ark of the Covenant which was stored in the Holy of Holies in the ancient Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem.

Hekhál

Hekhál, also written hechal, echal or heichal — and sometimes also Echal Kodesh (mainly amongst Balkan Sephardim) comes from Hebrew הֵיכָל [hēkhāl] ‘palace’, a term which was also used in the time of the Temple in Jerusalem to refer to the inner sanctuary containing the Holy of Holies. The hekhal contained the Menorah, Altar of Incense, and Table of the Showbread.

Placement and structure

Modena, Italy (1505)

The ark is usually placed on or near that wall of the sanctuary which is facing Jerusalem[2] — in practice often on the East wall, even in many cases where this is not in the direction of Jerusalem, and in some cases also on a seemingly random wall which was seen as architecturally easiest when the synagogue was constructed. In those cases where the ark does not show the direction to Jerusalem, traditional Judaism instructs the worshipper to face the true direction towards Jerusalem in prayers like the Amidah.

In some ancient synagogues, such as the fifth-century synagogue in Susia, the Torah scroll was not placed inside the synagogue at all, but in a room adjacent to it, showing that the sacredness of the synagogue does not come from the ark but from its being a house of prayer. The Torah was brought into the synagogue for reading.

Most arks feature a parokhet (curtain). The parokhet can be placed outside the doors of lhe ark (typical Ashkenazi and Mizrachi custom) or inside the doors of the ark (typical Spanish and Portuguese and Moroccan Sephardi custom).

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Transliterated Hebrew Glossary. Derech.org
  2. ^ The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash. Yeshivat Har Etzion

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.