A Greek word that can be translated as "Congregate" came to the language latin like synagogue and to our language as synagogue . Specifically, we are referring to the verb “synagein”, which can be translated as “congregate” or “gather” and which is the result of the sum of two components: “syn”, which is synonymous with “together”, and “agein” , which means "driving."
Its about space in which the people of Jewish religion to pray and study the Torah . The notion also allows naming the congregation of Jews .
The synagogue can be defined as a meeting place . The building is generally oriented towards the city of Jerusalem . Among the elements that can be found inside are the Holy Ark which houses the Torah , the candlestick reminiscent of the historical candlestick of Jerusalem Temple and one platform on which the reading of the Torah .
In the synagogues there are usually spaces for worship , rooms for community activities and rooms for the teaching of Hebrew and Jewish traditions to children.
It is important to note that the synagogue concept is not mentioned in the Torah. Its origin is attributed to the intention of the rabbis to develop a meeting place to pray and share various community issues.
The oldest synagogues that are registered are found in Israel . It is possible to find synagogues throughout the world , where the Jewish community of each locality meets.
In Spain, taking into account that during their history different beliefs and religions have lived together, there are still synagogues for some of their most important cities that come to exercise as an example of the past presence of Jews. This would be the case of Córdoba. Specifically, in this city there is the only synagogue that has been maintained in Andalusia, it is located in the Jewish quarter and has the catalog of Cultural Interest Asset.
It is a 14th-century temple that was built by a bell called Isaq Moheb and that stands out for its prayer hall, its balconies of polylobed arches, its coffered ceiling or the different inscriptions it possesses.
In the aforementioned country, in addition to Cordoba, there are only two other synagogues that come to practice as a beautiful heritage and are located in Toledo:
- Transit Synagogue, also known as Samuel ha-Leví Synagogue. It dates from the fourteenth century, is of Mudejar style and stands out for the fact that it was for a long time the most important in all of Castile.
-Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca, which is from the 12th century and has the peculiarity that in the 14th century it was transformed into a church. It is currently open to the public as a museum.
Due to the various attacks that extremist groups have carried out against synagogues throughout the history , these buildings usually have special security to prevent further attacks. Thus, it is common that there are mobiles of the Policeman and security checkpoints on admission.