Gallery 4: The Jewish Town, 1648–1772
The synagogueSynagogue(Yiddish: shul) – house of prayer. Traditionally, men and women sit in separate sections. is at the center of Jewish communal life. The original Gwoździec synagogue was built around 1650. Its interior, which was covered with hand-painted prayer texts, zodiac signs, animals, and flowers, was renovated in 1729. The central bimahBimahraised platform from which the public reading from the Torah scroll takes place. The bimah in Polish synagogues is traditionally located at the center of the main prayer hall and faces the eastern wall. , the platform for the public reading from the TorahTorahIn the narrow sense, Torah refers to the first five books of the Bible. In the broad sense, Torah refers to all Jewish sacred teachings stemming in one way or another from the written Torah. The handwritten Torah scroll is the most sacred object in Judaism. scroll, is typical of Polish synagogues. The Gwoździec synagogue was destroyed around 1914, but in 2011 and 2012, a team of 300 volunteers and experts, led by Handshouse Studio, reconstructed the roof and magnificent painted ceiling using traditional materials and tools. There were once more than 150 wooden synagogues in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. None of them have survived.