Spanish and Portuguese Jews - Synagogues

Synagogues

Most Spanish and Portuguese synagogues are, like those of the Italian Jews and the Romaniotes, characterised by a bipolar layout, with the tebáh (bimah) near the opposite wall to the Hechál (Ark). The Hekhál has its parochet (curtain) inside its doors, rather than outside. The sefarim (Torah scrolls) are usually wrapped in a very wide mantle, quite different from the cylindrical mantles used by most Ashkenazi Jews. Tikim—wooden or metal cylinders around the sefarim—are usually not used. Reportedly these were used by the Portuguese Jewish community in Hamburg.

The most important synagogues, or esnogas, as they are usually called amongst Spanish and Portuguese Jews, are the Amsterdam Esnoga and those in London and New York. Amsterdam is still the historical centre of the Amsterdam minhag, as used in the Netherlands and former Dutch possessions such as Surinam. Also important is the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London, the historical centre of the London minhag. The "Snoa" (1732) of the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel congregation in Curaçao is considered one of the most important synagogues in the Jewish history of the Americas.

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Famous quotes containing the word synagogues:

    Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.
    —Bible: New Testament Matthew 6:2-3.

    The Sermon on the Mount.

    Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.
    Bible: New Testament Jesus, in Matthew, 6:2-3.

    From the Sermon on the Mount.