Prayer and Religious Articles: Prayer and Blessings: The Synagogue:
What is the history of the synagogue?
The Targum and Midrash on Ex.18:20 (and the new Testament: Acts 15:21) attribute the first establishment of a synagague to Moses. The terms "House of the people" (Jeremiah 39:8) and "Meeting places of
G-d" (Psalms 74:8) are also interpreted as synagogues. The "minor sanctuary" in Ezekiel 11:16 is also interpreted as referring to a synagogue.
There is little or no record of synagogues before the destruction of the Temple, but there must have been many of them. The Talmud says that there were about 400 synagagues in Jerusalem at the time of its destruction.
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