From the architectural fragments found at Chorazin and from what we understand about contemporaneous synagogue architecture, we can reconstruct many details of what congregants saw as they gathered for prayer in the synagogue at Chorazin. The drawing summarizes most of these ideas. Facing south toward Jerusalem, the direction of prayer, people looked toward the large central doorway that led into main hall. Two other smaller doorways led into the side aisles that flanked the central hall. Between the doorways were raised platforms.

The platform to the right (looking toward the doorways) contained a semicircular niche for the Torah ark. Inside the ark was the scroll of Holy Scriptures that would be removed during the service from the niche and carried to the platform on the left where the public reading occurred.

The pictures here show basalt architectural fragments from the structures on the interior of the southern wall of the synagogue.

An elaborate double pilaster or engaged column (4) stood on one side of the niche for the Torah ark. A piece of the frieze directly above the top of the pilaster was also found (1), carved with a schematic leaf design. On the right side of this piece, the very beginning of the curve of the arch above the platform can be detected.

Another fragment (7) may be the keystone of the arch above the Torah ark niche. This rectangular stone is decorated with a simplified representation, probably of the Torah niche itself.

Two carved gables (2 and 5) with shell-shaped half-domes, found at Chorazin, now stand in the courtyard of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. One of them is thought to have topped the Torah niche platform, the other, the reader’s platform.

Two other fragments come from the reader’s platform. One, a carved piece attached to a vestige of arch (3), may have been part of the frieze above the left column. (It is not shown in the drawing.)

The other dramatic remain from the reader’s platform is a stone seat (6), called since its discovery 60 years ago, the “Chair of Moses.” This special seat was occupied by the Torah reader, a practice that continues in some synagogues today. Inscribed in Aramaic on the Chorazin Chair of Moses is: “Remember for good Yudan the son of Ishmael who made this stvh and its steps; may he take part with the pious.” (Stvh—a confusing word—most likely means a platform or small, roofed decorated dias.)

The side aisle doorways, though not as elaborate as the central entry, were probably also decorated. Their lintels have been reconstructed from carved fragments depicting candelabras (menorot) and wreaths tied with a knot of Hercules. The reconstructed lintels are shown in place in the drawing.