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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

Jerusalem Iranian Synagogue Defaced with Crosses

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Jerusalem Police received a report overnight Monday about crosses that were spray painted in black on the front wall and windows of the Koresh synagogue run by Iranian Jews at 34 Yossi Ben Yoezer Street in the Katamon section of Jerusalem. Police investigators and a forensic team arrived at the site.

The synagogue, named Koresh – Mishkan Shalom l’yotzei Iran (Cyrus – abode of peace for Iranian newcomers), is named after the Persian king who allowed Babylonian Jews to return to Israel after the first Exile.

The Iranian Jewish community maintains a close relationship with its brethren in Israel, as part of a tradition that began with the Babylonian exile, when the Jewish community of Iranian started to send a messenger to Israel, to check whether the Jews had started to return to the Land of Israel in order for them to also come back. Israeli Jews of Iranian descent also have a deep connection to Iran, and many continue to use Farsi.

According to a BBC report, Israel Radio broadcasts daily to Iran in Farsi. Twice a week Menashe Amir, a Persian Israeli, hosts a talk show with callers from Iran, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. The show attracts two to six million listeners every day from a country where the Jewish community is estimated at 20,000.

“I would say if 10 people are calling us from Iran, only one is talking about destroying Israel or death to Israel,” Amir told the BBC back in 2007. The Iranian callers aren’t allowed to call Israel directly, and they phone a number in Germany from which they are patched through to the Jerusalem studio.

David Israel

Suspected Car Bomb Outside Marseille Synagogue ‘Had No Detonator’

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

A suspected car bomb was discovered during the Sabbath outside a synagogue in the southern French city of Marseille on Saturday.

Two gas cylinders were found in a car parked outside the Bar Yohaye synagogue in the fourth district, according to numerous posts on social media.

Dozens of worshipers were praying the shacharit morning service when the car was spotted, at approximately 11 am.

Bomb squad sappers were immediately called to the site.

But Bouches-du-Rhône region Police Commissioner Laurent Nuñez told media no trigger mechanism was found, and the car was not stolen.

French police have been on high alert since an ISIS-inspired attempt a week ago, however, to blow up the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Authorities said seven gas canisters were found inside an abandoned Peugeot vehicle with no license plate outside the Paris cathedral. Forensics experts tracked down suspects via DNA found at the site.

Three women have since been arrested in connection with the attempted terror attack a week ago in Paris.

Hana Levi Julian

The Ancient Susiya Synagogue

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

The Israel Museum has reconstructed part of the inside of the ancient Susiya (Susya) synagogue. You can see what a magnificent building it must have been.

The excavated Jewish synagogue in Susiya dates from the 4th to the 7th century CE and was in continuous use until the 9th century CE.

(The Israel Museum) The magnificent synagogue of Susiya in the southern Hebron hills stood for hundreds of years and underwent many renovations. Its bema (podium) was built next to the long northern wall, which featured three arched niches. The central one likely held the Torah Ark, and the two others each held a menorah. The bema’s carved and incised motifs included menorahs, animals, and plants. Numerous donor inscriptions on the walls and floor attest to the community’s active participation in the building’s construction.

Susiya Synagogue in the Israel Museum 2

The Susiya Synagogue in situ:

1024px-SusyaSynogogueInterior Source: Yaacov / Wikipedia

Susiya Synagogue Explanation

Photo of the Day

Swastikas, Anti-Semitic Graffiti on Ukraine Synagogue

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The front doorway of a synagogue in Kolomia in western Ukraine was sprayed with a swastika and anti-Semitic slogans Thursday night, an official of the local Jewish community has told TPS. The official, Jacob Zlishiker, said the identity of the perpetrator is not known, and added that these things are routine in this city, and police are treating them very seriously.

The local Jewish cemetery also sustained some damage overnight.

The Kolomyia Synagogue graffiti / Photo credit: TPS

The Kolomyia Synagogue graffiti / Photo credit: TPS

Kolomia, which used to be the most developed city in the region before the war, boasted a large Jewish community, with about 19,000 Jews out of a general population of 43,000. The Jewish community was “culturally vibrant and complex,” influencing the Jewish culture of Galicia, according to the website Jewish Galicia & Bukovina. Before the war there were some 50 synagogues in Kolomia, among them the magnificent Hoiche Shul, a Yerushalmi synagogue, several Hassidic kloizes and even a Zionist synagogue.

In 1941, all of the Jews of Kolomia and its environs were concentrated in a ghetto that was divided into three separate sections. In 1942, these sections were burned and the entire population of the ghetto was annihilated: some were murdered in the city streets, others were taken to the Belzec extermination camp, and the rest were shot in the forest outside the village of Sheparivtsy, near the city.

A few dozen Jews returned to Kolomia after its liberation by the Soviet army and they continue to maintain a small community around the synagogue.

David Israel

Baylor University Group Helps Unearth Ancient Mosaics, Coins, in Israeli Synagogue Ruins

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Ancient mosaics depicting Noah’s ark and the parting of the Red Sea have been discovered by university scholars and students excavating a synagogue in Israel that dates to the fifth century.

They also have uncovered coins spanning 2,300 years, says Nathan Elkins, Ph.D., an assistant professor of art history in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, Waco, Texas. He specializes in the study of coins and serves as numismatist at the site in a former village called Huqoq.

“The ancient coins . . . are critical for our knowledge of the monumental synagogue and the associated village,” Elkins, a member of a team of staff and students from Baylor, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brigham Young University and the University of Toronto.

The mosaics decorate the floor of a synagogue that dates to the time when the area was ruled by the Roman Empire and when Christianity had become the empire’s official religion. The mosaics show an ark and pairs of animals including elephants, leopards, donkeys, snakes, bears, lions, ostriches, camels, sheep and goats.

The images also portray Pharaoh’s soldiers being swallowed by large fish, surrounded by overturned chariots with horses and chariot drivers.

Donkeys in Noah’s ark mosaic, Huqoq. / Courtesy

Donkeys in Noah’s ark mosaic, Huqoq. / Courtesy

Excavations have continued in the synagogue every summer since the first mosaics were found in 2012. Since then, mosaics depicting Samson and the foxes (as related in the Bible’s Judges 15:4), Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3), and a scene containing a Hebrew inscription surrounded by human figures, animals and mythological creatures have been uncovered.

The first non-biblical mosaic found in an ancient synagogue also was discovered at Huqoq, showing the legendary meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest.

The mosaics have been removed from the site for conservation, and the excavated areas have been backfilled. Financial support for the 2016 excavations was provided by the National Geographic Society and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture.

Excavations are scheduled to continue in the summer of 2017. For information and updates about the site and excavation, visit www.Huqoq.org.

Nathan Elkins, Ph.D. / Courtesy

Nathan Elkins, Ph.D. / Courtesy

In addition to working with the excavation, Elkins has advocated for protecting ancient coins from looting and smuggling. He recently spoke at the Public Hearing of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC He urged that the Memoranda of Understanding be renewed to prevent thefts of undocumented ancient coins and antiquities from Greece into the United States.

JNi.Media

New York’s Oldest Congregation to Appeal Ruling on Newport Synagogue $7.4 Million Grab

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

New York Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in the US, announced it would appeal to the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals last month’s ruling by US District Court Judge Jack McConnell in Providence that the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island is the rightful owner of very expensive silver Torah ornaments. Judge McConnell also severed the ownership of the NY congregation over the Newport synagogue building.

Back in May, Federal Judge John J. McConnell Jr. ruled in favor of congregation Jeshuat Israel which resides in Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI, and against Shearith Israel of New York which had claimed ownership of the edifice and its contents.

The $7.4 million dispute between two of America’s oldest Jewish congregations erupted in 2011, when the Newport Touro synagogue congregation, known as Jeshuat Israel (Heb: salvation of Israel), offered to sell the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston two silver Torah ornaments called “rimonim” (Heb: pomegranates) for $7.4 million. But the ornaments, like the rest of the synagogue, were the property of Congregation Shearith Israel, currently residing on West 70th Street in New York, and they were not amused when they heard of the sale.

Members of the Newport congregation told the court that the reason they had to sell the ornaments—which were made by Jewish American Silversmith Myer Myers (1723-1795)—was that their numbers were starting to dwindle and they could no longer afford to pay a rabbi.

Shearith Israel trustee Michael Katz testified that “we were aghast that they were doing this without informing us in advance. We considered it a violation of the lease. We considered it a violation of trust, and it upset us very, very much.”

According to AP, Congregation Shearith Israel on Tuesday issued a five-page statement disputing McConnell’s ruling: “Shearith Israel’s goal has been and remains to ensure that the Touro Synagogue, including the precious rimonim, remains intact, available for the continued use of Jews as an active place of worship and the continuous benefit of all people of faith as well as all those touched by its rich and inspiring history,” the statement said.

Back in the early 1900s, the NY congregation leased the Touro building to a newcomer Jewish congregation in Newport for $1 a year (which, in today’s value, comes to $1.87). They didn’t believe this generous lease empowered the tenants to sell off parts of the synagogue, and certainly not its multi-million dollar artifacts.

JNi.Media

Preparing for Shavuot

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Shul Shavuot

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/preparing-for-shavuot/2016/06/10/

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