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is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, and Thou art exalted. Exalt ye

the Lord our God, and bow down at His footstool, for holy is the Lord our God.”

The roll of the law is then taken to the reading-desk, which is in the midst of the synagogue, and there unfolded. Seven of the congregation are successively called upon to approach the reading-desk to hear the words of the law in this order. First a Cohen, a son of Aaron; then a Levite; next, any Israelite. The reader calls upon the Cohen to approach in these words :

“God will help, protect, and save all that trust in Him, and let us say, Amen. Ascribe ye power unto our God, and give honour to the law. Cohen, draw nigh! Arise, N., son of N. Blessed is He who has given His law to His people Israel in holiness. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes. The Lord will give strength to His people : the Lord will bless His people with peace. The way of God is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: He is a shield to all those that trust in Him."

Upon which the congregation reply: "And, therefore, ye that cleave to the Lord your God, are alive, every one of you, this day.”




The Cohen then draws nigh to the roll, and places himself on the right of the reader, who points out to him the beginning of the lesson, which the Cohen touches with the fringes of his talith, and then kisses the fringes, and says: "Bless ye the Lord, who is for ever blessed."

The congregation reply: “Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast chosen us above all nations, and given us His law ; blessed art Thou, O Lord, the Giver of the law."

The reader begins now to read one part of the section to the Cohen. When this is done the roll is shut, and the Cohen says: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who hast given us the law, and planted among us eternal life; blessed art Thou, O Lord, Giver of the law.”

Then, in the same way, the remaining six approach and hear the law.

Fifty-four portions of the other books of the Bible have likewise been selected, one of which is read every Sabbathday as the second lesson, after the reading of the law. Then the roll is placed again in the ark.

A curious circumstance is connected with this same reading of the law. As the Pentateuch must be brought from its depository to the desk for this purpose, prior to the veil being drawn for taking it out, the head clerk puts up the privilege of doing this by auction. Observing a Jew giving the signal for a bidding with his finger, he proceeds exactly like an auctioneer, and at length the highest bidder is the buyer. As a general rule, the successful competitor presents his purchase to a friend, and gives his name to the clerk. The individual thus preferred, while all is silence, takes his garment with its fringes, wraps it almost over him, and walks with a solemn step before the Chief Reader. On reaching the Holy of Holies, he draws aside the veil; and as the people chant a form of prayer, he takes the Pentateuch in his arms out of its repository, and puts it on the reader's shoulder. As the reader advances to the desk, the Jews, as far as possible, touch and kiss the roll. Strange as it may appear, this privilege of taking out the roll has been purchased for as low a sum as sixpence, and as high as fifty guineas.


A variation from this course takes place when the twentyeighth chapter of Deuteronomy is read, enumerating the curses connected with disobedience. On this occasion, instead of being sold to the highest bidder, a servant of the synagogue, a poor man, is paid a certain sum for coming up to the desk, and having that chapter read to him, which is done in a voice scarcely audible, and in a mournful tone.

When the appointed portions of Scripture are read, the honour of holding up the scroll to the view of the congregation, and returning it again to its place, is also sold to the highest bidder. Sums varying from one shilling to fifty guineas have been obtained for this privilege, in addition to the perquisites of the clerks, readers, etc., the whole of which goes into the treasury for charitable purposes. It

It is reported that a few years ago the treasury-box of the great synagogue in London was nearly or quite exhausted. On the Sabbath following the announcement, a gentleman celebrated for his wealth put in one thousand guineas, his lady five hundred guineas; and in one hour and twenty minutes, the sum contributed was £28,000 !

The Sabbath morning service concludes with the Musaph, a prayer imploring the Lord to restore the Jews to Jerusalem, and to their temple.

On returning home, the Jews have their second Sabbath meal, in very much the same manner as on the Friday evening. In the afternoon, or about evening time, they again repair to the synagogue for vespers. They begin by reciting the one hundred and forty-fifth Psalm, and pray for the coming of the Messiah ; after which they take out the Torah, and read the first chapter of the lesson appointed for the following Sabbath, dividing it into three portions, the first of which is read before a Cohen, the second before a Levite, and the third before an Israelite. Benedictions and prayers are then said, and the worship terminates with the Psalm of Degrees. The Jews now return home and have their third meal, but this time take no wine. As soon as the stars appear in the sky, they again attend the synagogue for night prayers; and afterwards the precentor pronounces the benediction in the following manner. He takes the wine in his right hand, and a spice-box in his left, whilst a boy holds a burning wax torch towards him. Having pronounced the blessing over the wine, he takes the spice-box into his right hand, speaks the benedićtion over it, stretches out his hands, and keeps them incurvated round the torch, and says: "Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the world, who hast created a shining light!” The final benediction is then said; after which the precentor pours a little of the wine on the ground, and gives the rest to the children to drink. All now return home, wishing each other “a good week :” and with that the Sabbath ends.

There is nothing peculiar in the exterior of a synagogue to distinguish it as a Jewish place of worship. It seldom possesses any elaborate architectural designs, but, on the contrary, is often plainness itself. The interior, however, is exclusively Jewish. It is divided into two separate parts, the

body of the building and the gallery. The body is appropriated to the men, who are not allowed to sit elsewhere. There are no pews, as with us, but open seats or forms. Every form is divided into a number of sittings, with a box underneath each seat for the owner to deposit his talith and prayer-book. No partition exists between the sittings. The congregation consists only of the male sex, of which there must be ten above the age of thirteen, otherwise the service cannot be proceeded with. The women do not count as part of the congregation; they sit in the gallery, and are not allowed to join in the service. In front of them is a kind of lattice-work, through which they witness the congregation worshipping. In the synagogues of the Reformed Jews, which are far handsomer than those of their orthodox brethren, no lattice-work screens the women from the men.

At the east end of the synagogue is the ark, which is always situated at the east end to direct the worshipper towards the rising of the sun. The ark is a kind of large wooden chest, placed in a handsome receptacle. In front of it, as a screen from the gaze of the congregation, hangs a large silken veil. The ark is, as I have already said, the repository for the law; and on this account is called the holy repository. In many synagogues there are forty or fifty copies of the law. These copies contain the five books of Moses, and are written on vellum. They are presented as voluntary offerings, by opulent Jews, and are very costly from the precision with which they are prepared. The vellum, for instance, must be manufactured by a Jew, prepared from the skin of a calf, and the animal must be slaughtered by a Jew. Should a spot or the least blemish be detected when manufactured, the skin is considered defiled, and cannot be used. On an average, a roll of

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