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Birmingham, Singers Hill Synagogue

Good lighting is essential to the synagogue service, which involves readings from the Scriptures on the Bimah. Natural lightGlossary Term from windows and often a clerestory or even a skylight, ley-lightGlossary Term or roof lanternGlossary Term, is supplemented by artificial lighting for night time. Dark interiors with windows filled with stained glass reflected prevailing historicist fashions in the 19th century.

Earlier English synagogues of the late 17th and 18th centuries were originally characterized by big, clear glass, round-headedGlossary Term windows and large ball chandeliers slung low over the Bimah. In England, at Bevis Marks (1701) and Ramsgate (1833) the chandeliers still use wax candles. In addition, the Bimah is usually lit by tall lamp standards on the four corner posts.


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