On Tuesday, we travelled by coach into Oxford. In the Synagogue a guide told us about Judaism – she explained the difference between Orthodox and Liberal and showed us the barriers separating men and women.
She invited 2 volunteers to open the Ark – this was a decorated cupboard made of fireproof wood. Inside where 7 scrolls, the Torah, they were massive!
If you rolled the scrolls out, they would be the length of a football pitch. They use a yad for reading so that they do not touch the scrolls.
In groups, we went to look at different items on a table, such as skull caps (kippah) and a 6-wick candle used at the end of a Shabbat meal.
We saw two kitchens, one was for the preparation of meat and the other for dairy products. We also saw a Mezuzah, a prayer in a decorated box which is on door frames to remind them of God. It was a really interesting visit.
In the afternoon we went to St Barnabas Church. We did a self led tour – Mrs Jacob made us a scavenger hunt of items to find which we had to draw and explain its use or importance, such as the font, lectern and St Lady’s altar. We also had to find St Barnabas in a painting.
It was and enjoyable and interesting day, but a tiring one.
Report by Elliott and Carys, Klimt Class.