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ISRAEL: The Ramban Synagogue + streets of Jewish Quarter

ISRAEL: The Ramban Synagogue + streets of Jewish Quarter

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LA-JEW.com — The Ramban Synagogue is the oldest active synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was founded by Nahmanides (Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman, whose name is often abbreviated as Ramban) in 1267. Today it’s located at the corner of Ha-Yehudim Street and the square in the Jewish Quarter.

The foundation of the building comprises vaults resting on Romanesque and Byzantine capitals. Along with the fact that there are no Gothic or Islamic architectural features, this suggests that the original building predates the Crusader period.

The synagogue is located three meters below street level, to comply with Muslim restrictions for Dhimmi houses of prayer not to be higher than mosques.

In 1586, the synagogue was closed under the order of the Turkish governor of Jerusalem. Subsequently, the Sephardi community established their center in the adjacent place, where the academy belonging to the tanna Yochanan ben Zakai was said to have stood during the Second Temple period. Today the Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue stands there.

In 1835, the leaders of the community managed to obtain a permission from the Ottoman authorities for the renovation of the synagogues, which were unified into a single unit.

Over the years, the building has been the home to the Sephardi community, was converted into a mosque after being confiscated by a Mufti, and was used as a flour mill and a cheese factory. Today it is used by the Ashkenazi community.

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the building was destroyed by the Arab Legion. As a result of the 1967 Six-Day War, Jews regained their right to the property, and 700 years after the Ramban revived the ancient building, the synagogue was reopened.

Look more: LA-Jew.com

List of Synagogues in Israel

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