Synagogue Worship

  • Synagogues are spaces of Jewish community prayer, study, and social activities.
  • Bimah (elevated platform) is where the Torah is read.
  • Aron Kodesh (Holy Ark) is the cabinet where Torah scrolls are kept. It’s covered by a curtain (parochet) symbolising the curtain of Solomon’s Temple.
  • Ner Tamid is an eternal light kept burning in the synagogue, symbolising God’s constant presence.
  • Prayer services in the synagogue include Shacharit (morning), Mincha (afternoon), Maariv (evening), and additional services on Shabbat and festivals.
  • Services contain traditional Jewish prayers like the Shema and Amidah.

Private Worship

  • Jews pray three times a day (Shacharit, Mincha, Maariv), often using a prayer book (siddur).
  • Mezuzah is a parchment inscribed with Hebrew text from Deuteronomy (6:4–9, 11:13–21) housed in a protective case. It’s attached to the doorpost of a Jewish home.
  • Jews might study the Torah, Mishnah, or Talmud at home for personal spiritual growth.

Rituals and Ceremonies

  • Shabbat (Sabbath) is a day of rest and worship, beginning at Friday sunset and lasting until Saturday night. Includes synagogue attendance, family meals, and studying Torah.
  • Passover involves a family meal (Seder) where the exodus story is retold.
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah is a coming of age ceremony for Jewish boys and girls.
  • Marriage includes a marriage contract (ketubah), a ceremony under a canopy (chuppah), and breaking of a glass.


  • Rosh Hashanah (New Year) involves synagogue services, blowing of a shofar, and eating sweet foods.
  • Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is a 25-hour fast, with additional services including confession of sins.
  • The period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is known as the Days of Awe or High Holy Days.
  • Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), Shavuot (Pentecost), and Hanukkah (Festival of Lights) also form part of the Jewish liturgical year.
  • Festivals involve synagogue worship, home rituals, specific dietary requirements, and in some cases, work restrictions.

Food Laws and Fasting

  • Jewish dietary laws, or Kashrut, include eating only certain animals, prohibiting mixing dairy and meat, and using specific preparation methods.
  • Fasting during Yom Kippur and other specific days is a way of atoning for sins and showing commitment to God.