Religious life took place in the few large temples such as those in Jerusalem and Samaria and many small sacrificial altars,
later known as heights in the Old Testament. In pre-Roman times, the Jews handed down holy words in oral form only to dedicated adepts; they were reluctant to set down holy words and the name of God in written documents that could be stolen or desecrated.
on their temple, hence the important role played by Herod’s new temple building in Jerusalem.
Up to the 1st century AD there were several Jewish temples; see Neumann, Historischer Jesus, p. 26f. The last Jewish temple that was closed after the end of the Great Revolt in 70 AD was not the Jerusalem temple, but the temple of Yahweh near Heliopolis in Egypt.