Friday, April 20, 2012

Inside the Hurva Synagogue at last!

A graceful stairway to heaven for the SkyWatch Friday folks.

Shadow Shot meme friends--see how strange the shadow came out on the wall!

Last week I drehed and drehed on that spiral staircase to get to the very top and capture the shadow of the railing.
Where were we?

At the newly rebuilt (dedicated in 2010) Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City!

Photo: Israel Government Press Office

"Hurva" is the Hebrew word for "ruins" and this is how the synagogue looked in 1967, right after the Six Day War, when we could again enter Jerusalem's Old City.
Jordan's Arab Legion had purposely blown up the famous synagogue in 1948.

The courses of stones that remained standing were incorporated into the rebuilt walls and were left unplastered, for all to see (and to remember).
You can see how the white plaster above marks the line where 21st century masonry begins.

The stained glass and the wall paintings were copied from the originals.
The neo-Byzantine style synagogue was first built in 1864.

Actually it was destroyed twice. Its whole incredible history, international intrigues and all, can be learned at Wikipedia.

The aron kodesh, the holy ark for the Torah scrolls, is two storeys high!

Women are not allowed to pray on the ground floor, which is the men's territory.
But boy, it's a long way down.

Here is the bimah from which the Torah scroll is read during prayer services.

Enlarge the picture and find two men studying together.
May the Hurva never be in ruins again.

See also my post of the new Hurva under construction .
For more details try the articles here and here.
Shabbat shalom.
(Linking to inSPIRED Sunday.)


Birdman said...

I'm shooting shadows today too.

Gary said...

What a great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

mirae said...

thankyou for this amazing tour beautiful Dina.It is beautiful the temples of worship are our strongest fortresses..because they are the home of the spirit and will never be conquered ..

Bergson said...

superbe ferronnerie

VP said...

When I was there the last time (1995) there was only the arch against the sky. This is a wonderful thing and a beautiful synagogue in a very special place!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful restoration work! The stairs alone would have kept me at ground level.
Thank you for bring us along with you to the temple.

mirae said...

and the top image is a masterpeice of a photo Dina, the delicacy of the worked iron and yet the strength ,truly ascending to the sky and in the other beautiful photos- the circular dome of eternity and the brilliant white purity of the exalted spirit
congratulations shalom

Karl Demetz said...

Gorgeous photos, Dina, and interesting post too.

Jan said...

Beautiful photographic summary of the restoration,Dina, I will be looking out for your posts.

Gunn said...

Interesting and also very pretty images.

Hels said...

What a tragedy, intentionally destroying a fine 1864 building, and a religious site at that :(

The rebuilding has done a great job. I have never in my life seen an aron kodesh that is two storeys high. Spectacular.

Petrea Burchard said...

That's a beautiful architectural work. Wow.

Adullamite said...

I remember seeing that ruin all those years ago. Fine renovation!

Kelly said...

I love ironwork and that spiral staircase is wonderful! I'm also awed by the beauty of the synagogue. Gorgeous!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

The "stairway to heaven" is glorious--and it even has some delicate shadows!

“Serendipitous Shadows”

Cassie said...

Such history and fab Shadow Shots too. I love that the old portion of the synagogue is incorporated into the reconstructed portion. It's history made more visible. Hooray for Israel and her courageous spirit! Happy SSS.

Laura said...

so beautiful Dina...a majestic place for prayers to rise up from...but isn't every place?

Shavuah tov (It must be past sunset where you are by now)

Carola said...

This shadows are great. All so different. And I like to read your information.

sparrow said...

Oh wow! I walked past this synagogue every day in 2008 when I visited Jerusalem. I am so delighted to see it is finished and how marvellous it is.

Gemma Wiseman said...

An amazing renovation! So love that winding staircase! It's enchanting! And the temple is a very impressive building overall! Intriguing post!

RNSANE said...

What fabulous photos! Though I've visited 45 countries and 25 islands, I've missed Israel. The intricate railing shadow is lovely.

My Shadow Shot is at:

Have a great week ahead.

Spiderdama said...

Wonderful post and a great stairway with so many details.

John McElveen said...

What an awesome tour!!!


Reader Wil said...

Shalom, Dina! Thanks for this piece of history and the photos of this synagogue.

Hilda said...

It is beautiful! I especially like the metal work and the fact that they kept the ruins. And yes, I hope it never gets destroyed again.

Jim said...

This is beautiful.

♥ Łucja-Maria ♥ said...

Hello Dina!
Your relationship is wonderful.
The architecture of the synagogue and your pictures are very beautiful.
Greetings from the cold Poland.

The Greenockian said...

Beautiful building both inside and out. Love the staircase.
Greetings from sunny Scotland.

Graciel·la Vidal said...

Good images of a temple of high importance. Thanks.

Have a nice Sunday my friend.

Tom said...

...a beautiful restoration!

Bill Nicholls said...

Wow nice tour round the place, nicely restored

bettyl-NZ said...

Such a gorgeous church and love your photos. What an interesting place to be living at this time in history.