Swords into Plowshares, The Isaiah Scroll and Its Message of Peace
Closes September 16
Studying Art in the Museum
for adults and children at beginning and advanced levels
Secrets and Ties
Wondrous Connections in the Israel Museum Collections
The galleries in the main building are currently closed to the public
due to the comprehensive program of renewal at the Israel Museum.
Signs of Life: Animating Ticho House
Until September 26
The Shrine of the Book
Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
Youth Wing
Campus Renewal Project

The Qumran Community

---Communal Prayer

 “Before the sun is up they utter no word on mundane matters, but offer to him [= the sun] certain prayers, which have been handed down from their forefathers, as though entreating him to rise” (Josephus, Jewish War II, viii, 5)



Daily activities at Qumran began and ended with prayers and benedictions. Immediately upon rising, the sectarians hurried down the paths from their living quarters to the central building, where they recited the morning prayers as a community. They apparently wore phylacteries (tefillin) on their heads and arms while praying; some of them may, in fact, have worn them all day long, as a mark of special piety. The phylacteries discovered at Qumran are the oldest ever found.

Among the scrolls were copies of approximately one hundred biblical psalms, two hundred non-biblical prayers (mostly otherwise unknown), and many other liturgical works. Together, they attest to the crucial place of prayer in the sectarian experience. The prayers were probably regarded as a substitute for the sacrifices offered at the Temple in Jerusalem, as we read in the Community Rule (IX, 5): “And prayer rightly offered shall be as an acceptable fragrance of righteousness, and perfection of way as a delectable free-will offering.”

 


 

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