Ancient Synagogue Seating Capacities: Methodology, Analysis by Chad S. Spigel

Religious Philosophy

By Chad S. Spigel

After the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, the first type of Jewish worship in Palestine shifted from supplying sacrifices in Jerusalem to non-sacrificial varieties of worship in neighborhood synagogue structures. whereas the literary and archaeological facts from the 1st few centuries CE makes this shift transparent, the proof is much less transparent in regards to the quantity of synagogue worship at the present. In different phrases, the facts does not explicitly let us know no matter if such a lot Jews in late-antique Palestine truly participated in synagogue worship. during this publication, Chad Spigel means that it's attainable to check the level of synagogue worship through choosing and interpreting the seating capacities of historical synagogue structures. He starts off by means of filling a lacuna within the scholarly literature with the production of a technique that may be used to figure out the seating means of any old synagogue construction. The seating skill method is then utilized to historic synagogue structures from the Roman and Byzantine sessions, hence making a catalog of seating capacities for late-antique Palestine. The seating capacities are then analyzed along with historical inhabitants estimates and different demographic info so one can higher comprehend neighborhood Jewish worship practices. via accumulating and interpreting seating means and demographic facts for greater than fifty old synagogue constructions, the writer not just exhibits that the level of synagogue worship diverse from position to put, he additionally offers a major source for students of late-antique Judaism.

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