The Synagogue: Its History and Function
by Isaac Levy
Hardcover: 150 pages
Publisher: Vallentine and Mitchell
Date Published: 1963
Point: The synagogue, birthed into a culture of prayer and worship, can be traced back to pre-exilic days of Israel. The appearance, activities, and leaders have varied throughout the centuries, but it has kept the Jewish people distinct.
Path: The author looks at the synagogue from its earliest forms until present day.
Sources: Variety of early 20th century and ancient Jewish writings.
Agreement: His point that synagogues would not have miraculously appeared during the exile if there had not been some precursor in Jewish life is an interesting observation.
Disagreement: The author tries to cover too much time. The synagogue has changed throughout the past 2500 years (+ for Levy).
Favorite Quote: “Because the synagogue has primarily served as a medium for spiritual inspiration it has provided ample scope for the development of the arts.” (1)
Stars: 2.5 out of 5