Judaism Architecture, Movie Review Example

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Movie Review

Unlike other Abrahamic faiths such as Christianity and Islam whose followers have a history of military conquests and ambitious preaching of their respective faiths, Jews have mostly survived as small, close-knit groups historically. Looking at the temples in the video, one gets the impression that synagogues were one medium through which older Jewish civilizations attempted to preserve their unique cultural traits.

One thing that particularly struck me was how synagogues seemed to incorporate elements of both Islamic and Christian architectures. It is hard to speculate whether the artistic styles incorporated in the synagogues were truly inspired by Islamic and Christian architectural styles or the resemblance is just accidental. For example, the Great Synagogue in Budapest which is also the world’s largest synagogue, has two main towers with small domes as well as arches, elements usually found in mosques. But Temple Emanu-el in New York could easily be mistaken for a Church.

The Tempio Israelitico in Italy is the synagogue that bears the most resemblance to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Its green dome almost deceives us in mistaking it for a mosque because green domes are common in Muslim countries. The most unique structure was that of the Tiny Synagogue of Cordoba. The synagogue’s small size also reflects the fact that many Jewish communities were small. The building looks more like a house than a synagogue from the inside. As I read more about it on the internet, I discovered that the synagogue had been used for other functions as well until it was realized that the original building had been a synagogue. This is not surprising because the Tiny Synagogue of Cordoba had the most simplistic structure of all synagogues in the video.

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