The Hurva Synagogue
The Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem is one of these magical places, with archeological sites found from the times of the Romans, where the Roman Emperor Hadrian built his city, through the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, and up until today!
"Israel is swarming with little gems of history, dating all the way back to the First and Second Temple periods, and sometimes even older!"
One of the most famous Jewish historical sites is the Hurva Synagogue, dated all the way back to the 1700s, from the times of Yehuda Hahasid- a leader of a group of Jewish mystics, who came to Jerusalem to start a community. However, it is said that this synagogue was built on the ruins of an even older one dating back to the 1500s!
The Hurva Synagogue has been built and destroyed multiple times, the first time by the Ottomans in 1720. It lay desolate afterward for 150 years, which became how it received its name, Hurva, or “The Ruins”. It was built again in the late 1800s, only to be destroyed again by the Arab Legion in Israel’s Independence War of 1948. The synagogue's beautiful arch was the only thing kept intact, becoming a symbol of Zionism and Judaism for Jews around the world for over 50 years.
Finally, after much deliberation of rebuilding for fear of sparking new Arab Israeli tension, in 2010, the Hurva Synagogue was rebuilt and opened for use.
The Hurva has always been known as one of the most beautiful and special synagogues throughout Israel, with its unique dome-shaped ceiling and ornate decorations. Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, one of the most commemorated and respected Jewish Rabbis, was even appointed the Chief Rabbi of Israel in the Hurva in 1921!
Today, the synagogue is in daily use, and many people, Israelis and tourists alike- come to the Hurva to witness and take part in one of Israel’s most symbolic stories.