A trip to the ancient land of Israel isn’t complete without a visit to some of its spectacular synagogues. You can easily request these sites from Israel travel companies which offer custom Israel itineraries. There are so many impressive synagogues scattered throughout Israel, in this blog entry we’ll look at three of them: the Hurva Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Abuhav Synagogue in Safed, and Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue. Each of theses synagogues are unique and worthy of a visit during an Israel vacation.
The Hurva Synagogue, originally founded in 1721, is in Jerusalem’s Old City. It was destroyed years later and lay in ruins for over 100 years. Rebuilt in 1864, the Hurva Synagogue was the central space used by the Ashkenazi Jewish community to gather for meetings and worship until its destruction by the Arab Legion in the 1948 War of Independence. Ten years later, a 52-foot commemorative arch was built over the ruins as a memorial. In 2010, a replica of the synagogue which was built on the site 150 years earlier was rededicated as a place of worship. The Hurva Synagogue is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Jewish people. One of its most spectacular features is the breathtaking 360-degree views of Jerusalem from the veranda which surrounds the dome.
The Abuhav Synagogue is another splendid site to visit during a custom Israel itinerary. This synagogue houses the oldest Torah scroll in Safed, believed to have been written by the Spanish Rabbi, Isaac Abuhav. Built in the fifteenth century – the interior dome is adorned with images of musical instruments used in the Temple in Jerusalem and various symbols from the tribes of Israel. Legend has it that Rabbi Abuhav and his followers built the synagogue in Safed around 1490, after expulsion from Spain. The synagogue is often visited by groups touring the Jewish homeland.
Lastly, is the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem. Built with funds provided by Sir Isaac Wolfson, a Jewish philanthropist from Great Britain, the Great Synagogue was consecrated on August 4, 1982 in memory of the six-million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. The Synagogue is the largest in the world. Its façade design is based on the Second Jewish Temple. The sanctuary features a colossal chandelier and gorgeous stained-glass above the Aron Kodesh. Free guided tours of the Great Synagogue are available when you call ahead. Or better still, let Israel Travel Advisory Service prepare the perfect custom Israel itinerary for you and your family or friends. While you relax we’ll do all the “heavy lifting”.