Praying Towards Jerusalem Hebrew Art
Mizrach: Literally means sunrise or place of sunrise, namely, east. By extension, Mizrach has come also to mean a decorated item (a plate, plaque, sign, etc.) hung on the east wall of the house or synagogue to indicate the direction of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) for correct orientation in prayer.
At worship, the congregation faces east where the ark is located in the synagogue. The custom of turning toward the east while at prayer, observed by Jews living west of Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) dates back to great antiquity. We are told that Dani'el prayed to G-d three times a day in the direction of Yerushalayim: When Dani'el learned that the writing had been inscribed, he went home. He had windows open in his upper story, facing Yerushalayim, and three times a day he fell to his knees and prayed and gave thanks before his G-d, exactly as he used to do before this. (Dani'el 6:10)
According to the Talmud, Jews in foreign lands turn in prayer towards the land of Yisrael, those in the land of Yisrael towards Yerushalayim, those in Yerushalayim towards the Temple, and those in the Temple towards the Holy of Holies (Berachot 30a).
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