A bimah (among Ashkenazim, derived from Greek polytonic|βῆμα), almemar (from Arabic "al-minbar") or tebah (among Sephardim) is the elevated area or platform in a Jewish synagogue which is intended to serve the place where the person reading aloud from the Torah stands during the Torah reading service. The "bimah" is sometimes misdescribed asaltar or tower. The "bimah" was located in the center of the synagogue most likely just as the temporary wooden "bimah" (this is the origin of the term) was central to the "women's courtyard" of the Temple in Jerusalem during the Hakhel ceremony. [Talmud Tractate Sotah 7:8] While the original meaning of the word referred to the platform, the table from which the Torah scroll is read can also be referred to as the bimah, even when it is not on a platform. This later became a sign of the Orthodox synagogue in the mid-nineteenth century. The Reform (Neolog) temples moved the "bimah" to the front of the temple facing the congregation. One of the well-known decrees of the Chatam Sofer was that the "bimah" must remain in the center of an Orthodox synagogue.

The "bimah" is typically elevated by two or three steps, as was the "bimah" in the Temple. At the celebration of the Shavuot holiday when synagogues are decorated with flowers, many synagogues have special arches that they place over the "bimah" and adorn with floral displays. The importance of the "bimah" is to show that the reader is the most important at that moment in time, and to make it easier to hear their reader of the Torah. A raised bimah will typically have a railing. This was a religious requirement for safety in bimah more than 10 handbreaths high. (Somewhere between 33 and 50 inches) A lower bimah (even one step) will typically have a railing as a practical measure to prevent someone from inadvertently stepping off.



ee also

*Ark (synagogue)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BIMAH — (Heb. בִּימָה; elevated place ), platform in the synagogue on which stands the desk from which the Torah is read. Occasionally, the rabbi delivers his sermon from the bimah, and on Rosh Ha Shanah the shofar is blown there. In Sephardi synagogues …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Bimah —   [hebräisch »Bühne«, »Podium«] die, / s, Almemor …   Universal-Lexikon

  • bimah — [bē′mə] n. a raised platform in a synagogue, from which the Torah is read …   English World dictionary

  • Bimah —  Cet article traite de l estrade de lecture dans les synagogues. Pour l équivalent architectural dans les églises paléochrétiennes, voir bêma …   Wikipédia en Français

  • bimah — /bee meuh, bim euh, bee mah /, n. a platform in a synagogue holding the reading table used when chanting or reading portions of the Torah and the Prophets. Also, bema, bima. Also called almemar. [( < Yiddish bime) < Heb bimah < Gk bêma BEMA] * *… …   Universalium

  • bimah — also bima noun Etymology: Yiddish & Late Hebrew; Yiddish bime, from Late Hebrew bīmāh, from Late Greek bēma raised platform more at bema Date: 1941 a raised platform in a synagogue from which the Torah is read …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Bimah — Die Bima, auch: Bimah, pl.: Bimot, von griechisch Βήμα, Bema, oder auch Almemor genannt, ist der Platz in einer Synagoge, von dem aus die Tora während des Gottesdienstes verlesen wird. Bima und Toraschrein bilden dabei die liturgisch funktionalen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bimah, Togo — Bimah or Binah is a prefecture located in the Kara Region of Togo. The prefecture seat is located in Pagouda.Towns and villagesAlemande, Aloumboukou, Assire, Boufale, Dewa, Farende, Kadianga, Kagnissi, Kawa, Kemerida, Ketao, Koloum, Konfesse,… …   Wikipedia

  • bimah — noun The elevated platform in a Jewish synagogue from which the Torah is read. Syn: almemar, tebah …   Wiktionary

  • bimah — bi·mah …   English syllables

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”