Monday, March 15, 2010

Hurva Synagogue rededicated tonight

My world, for That's My World, very much revolves around the developments in Jerusalem of the past week.
This tall crane was taken down a few days ago, after four and a half years of work.

That is how long it took to rebuild HaHurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
The previous one had looked exactly the same, built in the grand Neo-Byzantine style in 1864.

Photo from Israel Government Press Office as it appears in Wikipedia
When the Israeli army won the battle for the Old City in the 1967 Six Day War, this is how we found the Hurva synagogue looking. The Hebrew word hurva means ruins.
In our 1948 War of Independence, Jordan's Arab Legion attacked the Jewish Quarter. The Israeli fighters of the Haganah had to use the synagogue as their last stronghold. We lost that battle, and all the Jews were expelled from the Old City or captured and held prisoner.
The Jordanians blew up the building NOT in the heat of battle, but after they had already won the battle and taken over the Old City. Explosives were placed with careful thought exactly under the springing points of the domes of the great Hurva synagogue.
This is actually the third rebuilding of this synagogue.
The first one, from the early 1700s, was burned down in 1721 by Arab creditors angry that the Jews were not quick enough in repaying the money they had borrowed to build it.
The whole incredible history, international intrigues and all, can be learned at Wikipedia.
Tonight, Rosh Hodesh Nisan, the Hurva was dedicated with much celebration.
After all these years, the mezuzah was affixed to the doorpost and Torah scrolls were placed in the holy ark.
I will try to go soon to tour the interior and take pictures. Meanwhile, Arutz Sheva has a 5-minute video of the inside. The wall paintings are impressive.
To get a feeling of the events of the 1948 war that we talked about above, I highly recommend the candid Life magazine photos. I just discovered a blogger who has put together the best Life shots here (and more here and here).


Robin said...

After all these years. Wow. Just, wow. May it embrace a new future of peace for one and all.

J Bar said...

That style of archotecture looks very similar to a couple of orthodox christian churches in Sydney.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Petrea said...

It's all so tragic, complicated, old, fascinating. And I don't mean the building.

Starnitesky said...

How wonderful to see this built after all those years. I will look forward to more photos.

Pam said...

Very interesting pictures and video. Thank you Dina for sharing this.

Pietro said...

Very nice Synagogue. It will be interesting to see the inside too.

Regina said...

Beautiful dome and synagogue.
Thank you for sharing the history.
Looking forward for some snapshots of the interior.

Have a great day.

Adira said...

Extremely Interesting! Thanks for the links.

Praise Be To God that this has been restored!

When you get a chance, do share some of your own pictures with us!

I learn so much from your blog about the Holy Land. Thank You for taking so much of your time to share your world with us.


Anonymous said...

impressive work indeed.

thank you for your comment the newspaper post said that i have found and present wonderful corners of greece through great photography. although i said about myself amateur photographer, my work looks like professional

LadyFi said...

That is a beautiful building!

JM said...

I'm glad they have rebuilt it the way it was. Worth waiting for four years.

moneythoughts said...

LIFE magazine was my window to the world when i was a little boy. I remember it came on Friday and when i got home from school, I would get on the floor and turn the big pages and see what was going on in the world. I was 5 years old when Israel got her independence and had to fight for its survival. And, I learned about Israel in Hebrew school too when I was 5.

I am now reading A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz. I don't why it took me so long, but at least I am reading it now. : )

crederae said...

I am praying for you Dina.

VP said...

Thanks for the link the collection of photos is amazing, I already knew some but most of the are completely new to me.
I remember the slender commemorative arch where there is the synagogue now. What accomplishment! It is sad that so much unrest is created for this overdue building.

crederae said...

beautiful Dina, congratulations on your beautiful synagogue! it symbolizes resurrection and was dedicated long ago in your heart.
have a beautiful day of love and light.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Great tour, great links Dina.

Does documentation exist of what the temple's interior looked like between bombings? I recognized the paint used in the interior and the bundled flowers don't seem to be period.

Maybe this approach is about illustrating the temples history?

I hope I'm not annoying you to much with my questions

Dina said...

Thank you all for your ideas, concern, prayers, etc. over the last two days.
I've been quite busy and will try to answer questions tomorrow.
Shalom to all.

Louis la Vache said...

In a related vein is this article.

«Louis» is quite pleased to see that the synagogue has been rebuilt and reopened.

Glennis said...

Such a huge task to rebuild this wonderful old building, looks so good now, all the hard work has given you all a very nice new building to worship in.

Yaelian said...

I saw it last week when visiting in the Old City with my friends from Finland.We were actually wondering what it was,as it did not appear in the maps.Know I know....

Sara said...

I am so pleased that it has been rebuilt! When I was last there we visited that area and saw an arch, they said it was all that was left from the previous synagogue.