On May Day, Year 5 went to the Oxford Synagogue to learn more about Jewish worship.
When we arrived, after a twenty minute walk, the first thing I noticed was the curvy architecture and a lot of Stars of David. When we went inside we met our guide, Dr Levicki. Firstly, Dr Levicki showed us the main Synagogue. He told us about all the Jewish festivals such as Hanukkah, Pesach and Shabbat. He then told us about how the Torah scrolls were written; scribes write the Torah scrolls in special ink, in Hebrew which takes about eight months! If a scribe makes a mistake he has to start again from the beginning (not so fun). The Torah scrolls contain all the rules of Judaism. There are 613 rules in the scrolls. Every Saturday in the Synagogue a passage from the Torah is read. In the Oxford Synagogue, there are lots of scrolls including a special one from Egypt which is very small and in a service someone might sing the Kol Nidre.
Two boys opened the Ark which had a whole story threaded into it. It was quite big. Inside was a curtain and when they opened the curtain, inside were the Torah scrolls. Next Dr Levicki took us to the kitchens and classrooms. There was a Mezuzah (which is a symbol showing it is a place that Jews live and follows the Jewish rules) on every door. There were two different kitchens. One was for preparing meat and the other for dairy food. One of the rules of Judaism is that you can’t eat meat and dairy within three hours of each other; you can’t even use the same tray for dairy and meat.
I learnt that the Jewish community is very fair and happy and that nobody gets paid for anything or has to pay to go to the Synagogue and in general it is a very free place.