Jewish Usage. in chapels where two worship spaces are programmed it
is likely that Jewish services will usually take place in the smaller one.
However, on the High Holidays the number assembling may require the use of the
larger space. The following elements of furniture are to be accommodated:
(1) Ark. The ark is a piece of casework raised on legs or a
pedestal to contain the scrolls of the Torah. Its interior dimensions are not
less than 12 inches (300 m deep, 24 inches (600 mm) wide, and 48 inches (1200
mm) high. Its height may thus be about 7 feet (2100 mm). It has doors on the
front. It may rest on casters, but carrying handles making it portable by two
persons are appropriate. It Is most conveniently made of wood, is carefully
designed and fabricated to be the container of a treasure. A veil or curtain
that can be drawn aside hangs Just inside the doors. This veil should be of
fine fabric and the interior of the case richly finished. It may be lighted
with interior showcase lamps. A necessary adjunct is the "Eternal Light". This
lamp, which may be electric, is mounted so that it is located about one foot
(300 mm in front of and somewhat above the ark. See Facility Plate 17, page
The Torah scrolls, being calligraphy on parchment or vellum, are very
expensive and are not in the possession of most military chapels. Scrolls
have sometimes been loaned or donated. Such possibilities may be available
through the Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy, National Jewish Welfare Board,
15 East 26th St., New York, NY 10010.
(2) Bimah. The bimah is a reading desk upon which the scrolls of the
Hebrew scriptures are laid to be read. The article of furniture described as
altar/table may also serve as bimah. It should have placed upon it a sloping
surface about 36 inches (900 mm) square in ,plan, with a lip along the lower
edge. On this the Torah scrolls are placed and unrolled. Because the surface
of the parchment is not to be touched the lecture uses a small pointer called a
"yad" to keep the place. See Facility Plate 16, page 37.06-71.
(3) Prayer Garments. The custom of wearing a yarmulka (cap) and a
tallit (prayer shawl) by the men who attend worship implies a portable storage
unit where these garments can be made accessible to those who come, and in
which they can be stored away. A bin for yarmulkas together with a rod for
draping tallits, mounted on casters is an effective solution.
Islamic Worship. A room used for Islamic worship requires no
seating, and it must be devoid of representational art.
(1) Pulpit. A pulpit, which in a large room will require an
elevated platform, is supplied for the preacher at the Friday worship.