Synagogues have a large place for prayer (the main sanctuary) and may also have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices. Some have a separate room for Torah study, called the בית מדרשbeth midrash, lit. "house of study".
Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, reading of the Tanakh (the entire Hebrew Bible, including the Torah), study and assembly; however, a synagogue is not necessary for worship. Halakha holds that communal Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble. Worship can also be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together. However, halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan. In terms of its specific ritual and liturgical functions, the synagogue does not replace the long-since destroyed Temple in Jerusalem.