Monday, March 3, 2008

Torah in the shuk

I love to buy fruit and vegetables in Mahaneh Yehuda, Jerusalem's huge outdoor market. But this was the first time I happened by at just the right time to see a prayer service going on in the shuk's little synagogue. The men had just finished reading the Torah and were returning the scroll to the ark.
In ancient times Mondays and Thursdays were market days, when farmers would bring their produce to the city and residents would gather to buy and socialize. For their benefit Ezra the Scribe instituted the practice of publicly reading part of the weekly parasha from the Torah on these two days, in addition to Shabbat. And so it continues.

1 comment:

kay in hawaii said...

It's so interesting how the past influences what we do even when most people don't realize why.