Sacred Cabinets, Aaron is a arks, among Ashkenazi Jews or Ekhal(no) Hakodesh between bone sefarditas.
Recently it has been discovered several sacred cabinets in Portugal (I remember the feeling of joy and amazement, when we discovered through the program of the historic villages, perhaps the most artistic, the historic village of Castelo Mendo and then proven (barroca, 2001). How many more do not exist in Portugal, that may disappear?
It was the sacred cabinets that the Jewish community kept the Torah, manuscript in the form of manuscripts rolls, containing the transcription of the Old Testament. So it was also sometimes indicated as Law Cabinet, or simply, Arca. This division into two parts was designed to receive respectively the sacred books, on the bottom, and the perpetual lamp (Ner Tamid ) in cimo.onde to keep the Torah scrolls (Sifrei Torah). this designation, no, It comes from the Hebrew meaning “palace”, expression used in different times of the Temple of Jerusalem, to refer to the most important sanctuary of this religious cult. This type of “cabinets”, often in granite stone, They were located in private homes, used as clandestine synagogues (Esnogas) and spread from north to south of Portugal, some were hidden behind cabinets, false curtains or walls, as occurred in the Port.
On this sacred cabinet lent itself worship, on the Sabbath day or feast days, through the Torah reading and deepening the understanding of the Talmud.
As for the orientation, except in few situations, the sacred cabinets were intended for East wall,facing Israel, for believers doing their rituals turned to the closet, toward Jerusalem. "Only we know that the copy of Castle Mendo and Castelo de Vide open to the west, the east wall of the respective building " (Marcos Osório).
But we need more studies can be confusing because a sacred cabinet, with a medieval utility space or even modern, however the existence of several real estate associated with new Christian homes or proven Jewish quarters seems to link this structure to function and sacred buildings almost all of the XV and XVI.
It is worth knowing the history of Judaism in Portugal and later the Crypto, visiting a sacred hidden closets in remote places of Portugal.
Here is the list of those that I know.
-Historical Village of Castelo Mendo (All that is richly decorated, showing unusual aesthetic concerns for simple household furniture ...) (Sixteenth-century Renaissance).
-Historical village of Linhares da Beira (?)
-Sambucus (Manuelino-sixteenth century)
-Casa do Castelo (Sambucus)
-Castelo de Vide (the most visited and known) (XV century)
-Na judiaria da Guarda.
– In the historic center of Freixo de Espada-à-Cinta (Sixteenth century)
-Port (in the street of San Miguel)
-St. Vincent Pereira Jusã (Ovar)
-Medelin (Idanha a Nova)
-Vila Chã (We de Algodres ?)
-Malhada Sorda (Almeida)
1-BAROQUE, Mário Jorge (2001) – The aron Castle Mendo. In
Studies in Honor of João Francisco Marques . Port: Faculty of Letters, p. 183-197.
2-Osorio, stone markers-in cabinets traditional architecture of the High Coa. Jewish worship Testimonials?, We Revista available