The Maghain Aboth Synagogue, which means “The Shield of our Fathers”, was constructed in 1878 by Manasseh Meyer, and is one of the oldest Jewish structures that still stands in Southeast Asia.
It is located on Waterloo Street, within the central business district of Singapore. It is open all year and holds services every day except on Monday.
Maghain Aboth Synagogue Singapore – Location & Opening Hours
The Synagogue is a small single storey building which can accommodate around 500 people, where the upper floor balcony is reserved for female members of the Jewish community during the prayer service.
The building is oriented towards Jerusalem and it is very simple in structure with louvred windows, marble floor, a red carpet with teak and it has three wide opening doors. The Synagogue also has a front porch, which was initially designed for horse carriages.
Today, Singapore’s small Jewish community still meets at the synagogue to observe the Jewish festivals and perform regular services. It has a raised pulpit in the centre called Bimah, where the Rabbi and the reading of the scroll of the laws (Torah) takes place during the hours of service.
On the west of the hall, there is an elevated place where the Torah (the scroll of the law) is stored, and it is covered with parochet curtain with some detailed embroidery. At the west end of the hall, there hangs the eternal lamp, which is a symbol of the eternal flame.
In the earlier years, gas lighting and oil lamps were used to illuminate the hall during services. Nowadays, electric lamps are attached on to the ceiling and the columns to provide the needed illumination and lighting. The Maghain Aboth Synagogue was gazetted in 1998 by the Singapore authority as a National monument and is now a protected area.
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