During British rule in Jerusalem the Hurva Synagogue was the most important in Israel. In 1948, the invading Jordanian army blew it up.
The Hurva, whose name means «ruin» was initially built by disciples of Rabbi Judah Hahasid in the early 18th century. It was destroyed shortly thereafter by Muslims demanding the return of loans given to build the synagogue.
After it was rebuilt in the mid-19th century, it became the most important synagogue in the country, but it was blown up in 1948 by the Jordan Legion a few days before the fall of the Jewish Quarter in the War of Independence.
In 2001, after years of debate, the government decided to restore the building.
Now Orthodox Jews and Ultra-Orthodox Jews have a debate on what kind of services should be offered in the restored synagogue. Should it be come a closes place of worship, or should it also be open to women and tourists.
Those who wants an open house of prayers, say the reconstructed synagogue should present the historical saga of the Jewish Quarter, display archaeological finds unearthed there, and be fully accessible to tourists, men and women together. The group wants to prevent a round-the-clock kollel (yeshiva for married men) from opening there, which would preclude any other activity.
However, for the ultra-Orthodox, the matter is unequivocal: “The question is whether this will be a synagogue and a house of study, or a display of all sorts of foolishness,” the Jewish Quarter’s rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl said on an ultra-Orthodox Web site.
Source: Israeli Daily Haaretz.
The Jordanian Kingdom of Islam showed its true colors in 1948. In a bid to delete the Jewish heritage in East Jerusalem, the invaders from the East blew up and destroyed 55 Synagogues and Jewish religious schools.
During the seize and Islamic occupation from 1948 to 1967, the Jewish people were not given access to this Apartheid state in East Jerusalem, and the so-called West Bank. It had become a closed Muslim zone, and a model for the racist state a new promoted Arab Palestinian statehood would look like.
In 1967 East Jerusalem was liberated by the Zionist state, and the city was again open to people of all faiths.
The Hurva Synagogue must be kept open to all lovers of israel and the Jewish people, tourists like me. The Government of Israel must display the evil of the Jordanian army. Let this place of worship forever be a testimony of how Islam tried and still tries to delete the Jewish heritage of East Jerusalem.
First published in 2009
Written by Ivar