WELCOME TO THE TOUR OF THE CARDIFF REFORM SYNAGOGUE Written and produced by Graham Davies for Cardiff Advisory Service for Education (CASE) Special thanks to the members of the School Visits Team of the Cardiff New Synagogue Schools Service Welcome to the Cardiff New Synagogue. Our synagogue is part of the Reform Movement which tries to find new ways of making Judaism relevant in today’s world. What can you see in this picture of the synagogue? To watch a video clip of some of the congregation singing in Hebrew please click here Look up and you will see the beautiful windows which describe festivals and events in Judaism These are the stained glass windows. What can you see on them? What festivals do you think they celebrate? Click “next” to see if you are right 1. 4. 2. 5. 3. 6. 1. 2. Passover 4. 3. Purim 5. Rosh Hashanah Shabbat 6. Yom Kippur Simchat Torah At the eastern end of the synagogue is the Holy Ark (Aron Hakodesh). The Ark takes its name from the Ark of the Covenant. It can be a simple cupboard or a part of the building. This is the curtain of the Holy Ark. It is made of silk and is beautifully embroidered. What symbols can you see on it? What do you think is in the Holy Ark ? Click on one of the following: (a) The Rabbi’s sandwiches (b)The Torah scrolls (c)A collection of candles Sorry – “The Rabbi’s sandwiches” is the wrong answer Sorry – a collection of candles is the wrong answer Well done – right answer In a service the Holy Ark is open.The Ark contains the scrolls of the Law (Torah) which are known as the five books of Moses. On the sabbath they are taken out of the Ark, carried in a procession around the synagogue before being read.. The scrolls are beautifully “dressed”. What can you see on them? Click here to see the Torah being processed and undressed The Torah scroll contains the Jewish law. When it is “dressed” it will have the following: •A length of material to bind it tightly. •an embroidered mantle to protect it. •A crown and silver bells which tinkle when the scroll is moved. •A breastplate as a reminder of what the High Priest wore in the Temple •A “yad” or pointer made of silver and used to avoid touching the scroll. You can see the crown on the top of the Torah and the crown reminds us that God is king. Why do you think there are bells hanging down? Click on one (a) To make it look pretty (b) Because bells ring out good news (c) To alert the worshippers that the Torah is now being brought out. Sorry - “to make it look pretty” is the wrong answer Sorry - “because bells ring out good news” is the wrong answer Well done – right answer The Torah is written in Hebrew. Scribes are trained to copy the Torah and use a quill pen and vegetable ink. They must concentrate very hard and not talk when writing. Each scroll takes at least a year to write. The scroll is written on parchment – animal skin – and the text must have no mistakes. Between 60-80 pieces of parchment are used and sewn together and attached to wooden handles. Click here to hear the Torah being read in Hebrew Why do you think the scroll must not be touched by human hand? (a) In case it disappears in a puff of smoke (b)The scroll is a sacred object (c) It could burn the fingers Sorry – “In case it disappears in a puff of smoke” is the wrong answer. Sorry – “It could burn the fingers” is the wrong answer. Well done – “Because it is sacred” is the right answer. When a scroll is being read a pointer or yad is used to point to the words. The scroll is sacred and must not be touched by a human hand. Click here to see the Torah scroll being dressed The yad is usually made of silver and on the end is a sculptured hand with a finger pointing out. What symbol do you see here? How many branches? When is an eight branched candlestick used? The Menorah is a seven branched candlestick which reminds Jewish people of what was in the Temple at Jerusalem. Why is light so important in religions? Above the Ark is a lamp which is always burning. This is the ner tamid – eternal light. It reminds Jewish worshippers of the oil lamp which was always alight in the Temple in Jerusalem. In a corner of the synagogue is this wooden board with lots of names on it. What do you think it is? 1939 is a big clue! The mezuzah is a small case, made out of metal, wood or plastic, which is nailed to the right hand door post of every door in a Jewish home, except the bathroom. It will also be in the synagogue. Inside is a small parchment scroll on which are written in Hebrew the words of the SHEMA, i.e. Deuteronomy 6:5-9. Jewish people will often touch the mezuzah as they enter the room and then kiss their fingers. The mezuzah is a symbol of God's blessing, presence and protection. In this synagogue both men and boys over the age of 13 must wear the tallit. Women and girls wear the tallit if they choose. Here you can see the tallit (prayer shawl) being worn. It has long fringes and tassels in the four corners. It is worn over the shoulders or the head. The fringes remind the worshipper of the commandments of God – 613 in all You can also see the kippah or prayer cap. Jewish men wear them especially at prayer to cover the head to show respect for God The children here are in the Cheder or Religion School. It meets every Sunday morning Hope you enjoyed the virtual tour.