Hurva Synagogue

Hurva Synagogue

Overview
The Hurva Synagogue, also known as Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid ("Ruin of Rabbi Judah the Pious"), is a historic synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The synagogue was founded in the early 18th century by followers of Judah he-Hasid
Judah he-Hasid (Jerusalem)
Judah he-Hasid Segal ha-Levi was a Jewish preacher who led the largest organized group of Jewish immigrants to the Land of Israel in the 17th and 18th centuries.-Departure from Europe:...

, but it was destroyed by Muslims a few years later in 1721. The plot lay in ruins for over 140 years and became known as the Ruin, or Hurva.
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Encyclopedia
The Hurva Synagogue, also known as Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid ("Ruin of Rabbi Judah the Pious"), is a historic synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The synagogue was founded in the early 18th century by followers of Judah he-Hasid
Judah he-Hasid (Jerusalem)
Judah he-Hasid Segal ha-Levi was a Jewish preacher who led the largest organized group of Jewish immigrants to the Land of Israel in the 17th and 18th centuries.-Departure from Europe:...

, but it was destroyed by Muslims a few years later in 1721. The plot lay in ruins for over 140 years and became known as the Ruin, or Hurva. In 1864, the Perushim
Perushim
The Perushim were disciples of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who left Lithuania at the beginning of the 19th century to settle in the Land of Israel, then under Ottoman rule...

 rebuilt the synagogue, and although officially named the Beis Yaakov Synagogue, it retained its name as the Hurva. It became Jerusalem's main Ashkenazic
Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

 synagogue, until it too was reduced to rubble by the Arab Legion
Arab Legion
The Arab Legion was the regular army of Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century.-Creation:...

 during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

After Israel conquered Jerusalem in 1967, a number of plans were submitted for the design of a new building. After years of deliberation and indecision, a commemorative arch was erected instead at the site in 1977, itself becoming a prominent landmark of the Jewish Quarter. The plan to rebuild the synagogue in its 19th-century style received approval by the Israeli Government in 2000, and the newly rebuilt synagogue was dedicated on March 15, 2010. The company involved with its reconstruction believes that restoring the synagogue to its former glory will once again allow it to serve as a centre for World Jewry.

Early history


The Hurva Synagogue today stands off a plaza in the centre of Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter. Excavations carried out at the site in July and August 2003 revealed evidence from four main settlement periods: First Temple
Solomon's Temple
Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount , before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE....

 (800–600 BCE), Second Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

 (100 CE), Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Three bedrock-hewn mikvah
Mikvah
Mikveh is a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism...

s (ritual baths) were uncovered there dating from the 1st century. The earliest tradition regarding the site is of a synagogue existing there at the time of the 2nd century sage Judah haNasi
Judah haNasi
Judah the Prince, or Judah I, also known as Rebbi or Rabbeinu HaKadosh , was a 2nd-century CE rabbi and chief redactor and editor of the Mishnah. He was a key leader of the Jewish community during the Roman occupation of Judea . He was of the Davidic line, the royal line of King David, hence the...

. By the 13th century, the area had become a courtyard, known as Der Ashkenaz (the Ashkenazic Compound), for the Ashkenazic community of Jerusalem. In 1488, Obadiah ben Abraham
Obadiah ben Abraham
Obadiah ben Abraham of Bertinoro was a 15th-century rabbi best known for his popular commentary on the Mishnah, commonly known as "The Bartenura".He was born and lived in the second half of the 15th-century in Italy and died in Jerusalem, Palestine about 1500...

 described a large courtyard containing many houses for exclusive use of the Ashkenazim, adjacent to a "synagogue built on pillars," referring to the Ramban Synagogue
Ramban Synagogue
The Ramban Synagogue , is the oldest active synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was founded by Nahmanides in 1267. Today it is located at the corner of Ha-Yehudim Street and the square in the Jewish Quarter.-Features:The foundation of the building comprises vaults resting on Romanesque and...

. The Ramban Synagogue had been used jointly by both Ashkenazim and Sephardim
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 until 1586, when the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 authorities confiscated the building. Thereafter, the Ashkenazim established a synagogue within their own, adjacent courtyard.

Judah he-Hasid and aftermath: 1700s


In the winter of 1700, a group of around 500 Ashkenazim led by Rabbi Judah he-Hasid
Judah he-Hasid (Jerusalem)
Judah he-Hasid Segal ha-Levi was a Jewish preacher who led the largest organized group of Jewish immigrants to the Land of Israel in the 17th and 18th centuries.-Departure from Europe:...

 arrived from Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. They were mystics who were intent on advancing the arrival of the Messianic Era
Messianic Age
Messianic Age is a theological term referring to a future time of universal peace and brotherhood on the earth, without crime, war and poverty. Many religions believe that there will be such an age; some refer to it as the "Kingdom of God" or the "World to Come".- Terminology: "messianic" and...

 by settling in Jerusalem and leading ascetic lives. A few days after their arrival in the city, he-Hasid died, and without a leader, their messianic hopes dissipated and the community began to disintegrate. Those who remained managed to build forty dwellings and a small synagogue in the Ashkenazic Compound. Soon after, they endeavoured to construct a larger synagogue, but the task proved expensive. They found themselves having to bribe the Ottoman authorities in order to enable them to proceed with their building project. Unexpected costs relating to the construction, financial hardships and the burden of various other taxes drained their funds. They became impoverished and were forced to take loans from local Arabs, eventually falling into severe debt. Pressure and threats from the creditors led to a meshulach (rabbinical emissary) being sent to abroad to solicit funds for repayment of the loans. In late 1720, with the debts still outstanding, the Arab lenders lost patience and set the synagogue and its contents alight. The leaders of the community were imprisoned and shortly after, all the Ashkenazim were banished from the city. Over the course of time, shops were built in the courtyard and the synagogue was left desolate, in a pile of rubble. It thus became known as the "Ruin of Rabbi Judah he-Hasid".

Efforts of the Perushim: 1812–37



Between 1808 and 1812 another group of ascetic Jews, known as Perushim
Perushim
The Perushim were disciples of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who left Lithuania at the beginning of the 19th century to settle in the Land of Israel, then under Ottoman rule...

, immigrated to Palestine from Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. They were disciples of the Vilna Gaon
Vilna Gaon
Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman Kramer, known as the Vilna Gaon or Elijah of Vilna and simply by his Hebrew acronym Gra or Elijah Ben Solomon, , was a Talmudist, halachist, kabbalist, and the foremost leader of non-hasidic Jewry of the past few centuries...

 and had settled in the city of Safed
Safed
Safed , is a city in the Northern District of Israel. Located at an elevation of , Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. Due to its high elevation, Safed experiences warm summers and cold, often snowy, winters...

 to the north. Some had wished to settle in Jerusalem and reclaim the Ashkenazic Compound. They were worried, however, that descendants of the Arab creditors still held the old promissory note
Promissory note
A promissory note is a negotiable instrument, wherein one party makes an unconditional promise in writing to pay a determinate sum of money to the other , either at a fixed or determinable future time or on demand of the payee, under specific terms.Referred to as a note payable in accounting, or...

s relating to the century-old debts incurred by he-Hasid's followers and that a new group of Ashkenazic immigrants would possibly inherit responsibility for repayment. The descendants of a group of Hasidim
Hasidic Judaism
Hasidic Judaism or Hasidism, from the Hebrew —Ḥasidut in Sephardi, Chasidus in Ashkenazi, meaning "piety" , is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through the popularisation and internalisation of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspects of the Jewish faith...

 who made aliyah
Aliyah
Aliyah is the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel . It is a basic tenet of Zionist ideology. The opposite action, emigration from Israel, is referred to as yerida . The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile...

in 1777 also presented a problem. They apparently objected to any effort by the Perushim to take control of the synagogue ruin, claiming it had never belonged to the Perushim or their ancestors. The Hasidim claimed they had closer ties with the original owners and that their rights to the parcel of land were greater.

Nevertheless, in late 1815, leader of the Safed Perushim, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Shklov, arrived in Jerusalem with a group of followers. They directed their main efforts to rebuilding he-Hasid's synagogue, which had symbolised the expulsion of the Ashkenazim from Jerusalem. By this, they intended to demonstrate the re-establishment of Ashkenazic presence in the city. Rebuilding one of Jerusalem's ruins would also have symbolic kabbalistic
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 significance. The "repairing" of an earlier destruction would represent the first step of rebuilding the entire city, a prerequisite for the arrival of the Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

.

In 1816 they "pleaded with the powers in the city of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 to obtain a royal decree that the Arabs residing in Jerusalem would not be permitted to enforce the debts of the Ashkenazim", but nothing came of it. A year later, several leaders of the group, including Solomon Zalman Shapira and Solomon Pach, travelled to Constantinople endeavouring to obtain such a firman (imperial decree). Two years later, in 1819, their efforts were realised and the century-old debts were cancelled. The group acquired a legal document delineating the entire site acquired by he-Hasid in 1700. The area now included dilapidated dwellings and shops built by the creditors' heirs on part of the site. Next, they had to secure another firman that would permit construction at the site, including the building of a large synagogue. Two successive missions in 1820 and 1821 to obtain the firman from the sultan's court failed.

Still awaiting imperial permission to build in the courtyard, the Perushim wished to rely on an old firman given to the Jews in 1623, which stated that there could be no objection to them building in their own quarters. Having received a supporting document issued by the Qadi
Qadi
Qadi is a judge ruling in accordance with Islamic religious law appointed by the ruler of a Muslim country. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and secular domains, qadis traditionally have jurisdiction over all legal matters involving Muslims...

 of Jerusalem in March 1824, it was possible for them begin rebuilding the dwellings in the courtyard. In practice, however, construction never materialised as they were unable to exercise their authority over the plot of land. This was apparently due to confrontation with the Arab squatters and the local government's disregard of the documents proving their ownership of the courtyard.

In 1825, following the disruption the group were experiencing, Shapira travelled to Europe once again. He hoped to secure the necessary firman, which would place the courtyard firmly in the Perushim's possession, and also to raise funds to cover the costs incurred trying to redeem the courtyard. His mission, however, was unsuccessful, as was a later mission attempted in 1829 by Shlomo Zalman Zoref, a Lithuanian-born silversmith.

Ali gives building consent


With the annexation of Jerusalem by Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali of Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha was a commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive of Egypt and Sudan...

 in 1831, a new opportunity arose for the Perushim. They petitioned Muhammad Ali regarding the rebuilding of the synagogue, but permission was not forthcoming. Muhammad Ali was apprehensive to deviate from the longstanding Muslim tradition and the Pact of Umar II, which restricted the repair or construction of non-Muslim houses of worship. However, five months after the earthquake of May 1834, Muhammad Ali relaxed the prohibition and allowed the Sephardim to carry out repair works to their existing synagogues. This consent gave rise to further efforts by the Ashkenazim to receive authorisation to rebuild theirs.

On 23 June 1836, after traveling to Egypt, Zoref, together with the backing of the Austrian and Russian consuls in Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, obtained the long-awaited firman. It seems he was successful in gaining support of the Austrian consul and Muhammad Ali by invoking the name of Baron Salomon Mayer von Rothschild
Salomon Mayer von Rothschild
Salomon Mayer von Rothschild was a German-born banker in the Austrian Empire and the founder of the Viennese branch of the prominent Mayer Amschel Rothschild family....

 of Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

. Muhammad Ali was hopeful that by giving his permission to rebuild the Ruin, Rothschild would be inclined to forge financial and political ties with him, which would in turn secure political support of Austria and France. In fact, Rothschild's involvement was a ruse. As soon as Zoref received the firman, he contacted Zvi Hirsch Lehren of the Clerks' Organisation in Amsterdam, requesting that funds his brother had pledged towards the building of synagogues in Palestine be applied to the Ruin. But Lehren had doubts as to what exactly the firman permitted. Explicit authorisation for construction of a large synagogue was absent. (A letter from the leaders of the Amsterdam community to Moses Montefiore
Moses Montefiore
Sir Moses Haim Montefiore, 1st Baronet, Kt was one of the most famous British Jews of the 19th century. Montefiore was a financier, banker, philanthropist and Sheriff of London...

 in 1849 confirms that permission for a synagogue in the Ashkenasic Compound had not been sanctioned; they had only been allowed to build dwellings in the area.)

Menachem Zion Synagogue


In despite of the doubts highlighted in relation to the construction of a synagogue, the Perushim, confidently in possession of the ambiguous firman, began clearing away the rubble from the Ruin courtyard in September 1836. As the foundations of he-Hasid's original synagogue were revealed, they discovered a few old documents dating from 1579, signed by Israel Najara. After much debate, they decided not to rebuild the Ruin, but initially erect a small structure on the edge of the Ashkenasic compound. The Arab creditors, however, still refused to relinquish the claims they had on the Jews and continued to interfere with the works. Zoref, claiming that the Ashkenazim currently in Jerusalem were not related in any way to those who had borrowed the money at the turn of the 18th century, was forced to appear in court requesting a further ruling cancelling the debts. He mentioned that an injunction had already been passed that absolved the Ashkenazim from repaying the debt and maintained that the Turkish Statute of Limitations cancelled out the debts of Judah he-Hasid's followers. Although the court ruled in the Ashkenazim's favour, Zoref nevertheless had to appease the Arab instigators with annual bribes in order to allow building to continue. At some point this arrangement ceased and in 1851, he was struck on the head with a sword and died of his wounds three months later. By January 1837 however, the Perushim had dedicated the modest Menachem Zion Synagogue in the northwestern corner of the courtyard. In 1854, a second smaller synagogue was built within the compound. The actual plot upon which he-Hasid's synagogue had stood 130 years earlier, however, remained in ruins.

Rebuilding he-Hasid's Ruin: 1857–64


In the early 1850s, the Perushim felt ready to attempt the building a larger synagogue on he-Hasid's original site. An outcome of the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 was the British Government's willingness to use its increased influence at Constantinople to intervene on behalf of its Jewish subjects who resided in Jerusalem. On 13 July 1854, James Finn
James Finn
James Finn was a British Consul in Jerusalem, in the then Ottoman Empire . He arrived in 1845 with his wife Elizabeth Anne Finn. Finn was a devout Christian, who belonged to the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, but who did not engage in missionary work during his years in...

 of the British consulate in Jerusalem wrote to the British ambassador in Constantinople describing the wishes of the 2,000 strong Ashkenazic community to build a new synagogue. He noted that funds for construction had been collected by Moses Montefiore twelve years earlier. He also enclosed a 150-year-old firman, which authorised the Ashkenazic Jews to rebuild their ruined synagogue. As the title to the plot of land was held by the Amzalag family, who were British subjects, they designated London-born Rabbi Hirschell, son of Chief Rabbi of Great Britain Solomon Hirschell
Solomon Hirschell
Rabbi Solomon Hirschell was the Chief rabbi of Great Britain, 1802-42. He is best remembered for his unsuccessful attempt to stop the spread of Reform Judaism in Britain by excommunicating its leaders....

, to negotiate the transfer. The British consulate agreed to lend its sanction to the contract in order to avoid possible intrusion by the Turks. At issue was the question of whether the building of a synagogue at the site constituted the repair of an old house of non-Muslim worship or the establishment of a new synagogue. The Turks would have to grant a special license for the latter. This was received through the efforts of Lord Napier
Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier
Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier and 1st Baron Ettrick, KT, PC , was a Scottish polyglot, diplomat and colonial administrator. He served as the British Minister to the United States from 1857 to 1859, Netherlands from 1859 to 1860, Russia from 1861 to 1864, Prussia from 1864 to 1866 and as the...

 and Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, British ambassadors to the Sublime Porte, who secured the necessary firman in 1854. In July 1855, while in Constantinople, Montefiore was handed the firman, which he hand-delivered during his fourth visit to Jerusalem in 1857.

With permission granted, the groundbreaking ceremony took place on the last day of Hanukah of 1855. On April 22, 1856, the cornerstone was laid in the presence of Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Shmuel Salant
Shmuel Salant
Shmuel Salant served as the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem for almost 70years. He was a renowned Talmudist and Torah scholar.-Biography:...

. Salant had been instrumental in raising the necessary funding, making a trip to Europe in 1860 and obtaining large donations, especially from Montefiore. Some of the stones used in construction of the building was purchased from the Industrial Plantation, where poor Jews assisted in quarrying and shaping the blocks. On May 7, 1856 Consul Finn inspected the site after receiving complaints from Muslims who suspected the opening of windows towards a mosque.

Although originally in possession of a lump sum they hoped would pay for the planned edifice, expenses increased. Construction work progressed slowly for lack of funds and the impoverished community soon found themselves having to arrange collections throughout the diaspora
Jewish diaspora
The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

. One notable emissary, Jacob Sapir, set off for Egypt in 1857 and returned in 1863 having visited Yemen, Aden, India, Java, Australia, New Zealand and Ceylon. The largest single gift came from Ezekiel Reuben, a wealthy Sephardi Jew from Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, who gave 100,000 of the million piasters
Piastre
The piastre or piaster refers to a number of units of currency. The term originates from the Italian for 'thin metal plate'. The name was applied to Spanish and Latin American pieces of eight, or pesos, by Venetian traders in the Levant in the 16th century.These pesos, minted continually for...

 needed. His sons, Menashe and Sasson, later supplemented his donation. The combined donations from the Reuben family eventually covered more than half the cost. It marked an important step in the unity of the Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities of the city. Another contributor was the King Frederick William IV of Prussia
Frederick William IV of Prussia
|align=right|Upon his accession, he toned down the reactionary policies enacted by his father, easing press censorship and promising to enact a constitution at some point, but he refused to enact a popular legislative assembly, preferring to work with the aristocracy through "united committees" of...

, whose name was inscribed above the entrance together with those of other benefactors. He also gave permission for funds to be collected from his Jewish subjects. Throughout Western Europe, emissaries sought donations with the slogan "Merit Eternal Life with one stone".

With new funds arriving, work could progress. In 1862 the domed ceiling was completed and Rabbi Yeshaya Bardaki, head of the Ashkenazic community, was honored with placing the final stone of the dome. Two years later in 1864, the new synagogue was dedicated. Present was Baron Alphonse de Rothschild
Alphonse James de Rothschild
Mayer Alphonse James Rothschild , was a French, financier, vineyard owner, art collector, philanthropist, racehorse owner/breeder and a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France.-Biography:...

, who 8 years earlier had been given the honour of laying the first stone. The edifice was officially named Beis Yaakov – "House of Jacob" – in memory of Jacob Mayer de Rothschild
James Mayer de Rothschild
James Mayer de Rothschild was a French banker and the original founder of the French branch of the Rothschild family.-Biography:...

, whose son Edmond de Rothschild
Edmond James de Rothschild
Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild was a French member of the Rothschild banking family. A strong supporter of Zionism, his generous donations lent significant support to the movement during its early years, which helped lead to the establishment of the State of Israel.- Early years :A...

 had dedicated much of his life supporting the Jews of Palestine. The locals, however, continued to refer to the building as the Hurva. As a token of gratitude to the British government for their involvement, the British Consul James Finn, was invited to the dedication ceremony, which included a thanksgiving service. He described the "beautiful chants and anthems in Hebrew", the subsequent refreshments provided and the playing of Russian and Austrian music.

Structure




The Hurva Synagogue was designed and constructed under the supervision of Assad Effendi, the sultan's official architect. Built in neo-Byzantine style
Neo-Byzantine architecture
The Byzantine Revival was an architectural revival movement, most frequently seen in religious, institutional and public buildings. It emerged in 1840s in Western Europe and peaked in the last quarter of 19th century in the Russian Empire; an isolated Neo-Byzantine school was active in Yugoslavia...

, it was supported by four massive pilaster
Pilaster
A pilaster is a slightly-projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. Most commonly flattened or rectangular in form, pilasters can also take a half-round form or the shape of any type of column, including tortile....

s at each corner over which soared a large dome. The construction of only one of these towers was completed. The other three were missing the upper level and the small dome that capped it. The facade was covered in finely hewn stone and incorporated 12.5 m (41 ft) high window arches. The height of the synagogue to the bottom of its dome was around 16 m (52 ft) and to the top of the dome it was 24 m (79 ft). Twelve windows were placed around the base of the dome, which was surrounded by a veranda
Verandah
A veranda or verandah is a roofed opened gallery or porch. It is also described as an open pillared gallery, generally roofed, built around a central structure...

, which offered a fine view of large parts of the Old City and the area around Jerusalem. Being one of the tallest structures in the Old City, it was visible for miles.

Interior


The synagogue prayer hall was reached via an entrance with three iron gates. The length was around 15.5 m (51 ft) and the width was around 14 m (46 ft). The women's section was in the galleries, along the three sides of the chapel, except the eastern side. Access to the galleries was through towers situated at the corners of the building.

The Holy Ark had the capacity to house 50 Torah scrolls and was built on two levels. It was flanked by four Corinthian
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

 columns surrounded by baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 woodcuts depicting flowers and birds. The Ark together with its ornamental gates were taken from the Nikolaijewsky Synagogue in Kherson
Kherson
Kherson is a city in southern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Kherson Oblast , and is designated as its own separate raion within the oblast. Kherson is an important port on the Black Sea and Dnieper River, and the home of a major ship-building industry...

, Russia, which had been used by Russian Jewish conscripts, forced to spend twenty-five years in the Tsarist army. Directly above the Ark was a triangular window with rounded points. To the right and in front of the ark was the cantor's podium, which was designed as a miniature version of the two-level Ark.

The centre of the synagogue originally contained a high wooden bimah
Bimah
A bimah A bimah A bimah (among Ashkenazim, derived from Hebrew בּמה , almemar (from Arabic al-minbar) or tebah (among Sephardim) is the elevated area or platform in a Jewish synagogue which is intended to serve the place where the person reading aloud from the Torah stands during the Torah reading...

, but this was later replaced with a flat platform covered with expensive marble plates.

Numerous crystal chandeliers hung from the dome. The dome itself was painted sky-blue and strewn with golden stars. Frescoes with religious motifs, such as stars of David, the menorah, Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai , also known as Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa , Jabal Musa meaning "Moses' Mountain", is a mountain near Saint Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. A mountain called Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Quran...

 and the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

, adorned every wall. In the four corners were drawings of four animals in accordance with the statement in Pirkei Avot: "Be strong as the leopard and swift as the eagle, fleet as the deer and brave as the lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven."

One of the most generous donations came from Pinchas Rosenberg, the Imperial Court tailor of St. Petersburg. In the diary of Rabbi Chaim ha-Levy, the emissary who had been sent from Jerusalem to collect funds for the synagogue, Rosenberg set out in details what his money was intended for. Among the items that were bought with his money were two big bronze candelabras; a silver Hanukah candlestick that "arrived miraculously on the 1st Tevet
Tevet
Tebet is the fourth month of the civil year and the tenth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It follows Kislev and precedes Shevat. It is a winter month of 29 days...

[1866] precisely in time to light the last eight Hanukah candles" and an iron door made under the holy ark for safe-keeping of the candlestick. He also earmarked funds towards the building of an "artistically wrought iron fence around the roof under the upper windows so that there be a veranda on which may stand all our brethren who go up in pilgrimage to behold our desolate Temple, and also a partition for the womenfolk on the Feast of Tabernacles
Sukkot
Sukkot is a Biblical holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei . It is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem.The holiday lasts seven days...

 and Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah or Simḥath Torah is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle...

."

Golden years: 1864–1948



From 1864 onwards, the Hurva Synagogue was considered the most beautiful and most important synagogue in the Land of Israel
Land of Israel
The Land of Israel is the Biblical name for the territory roughly corresponding to the area encompassed by the Southern Levant, also known as Canaan and Palestine, Promised Land and Holy Land. The belief that the area is a God-given homeland of the Jewish people is based on the narrative of the...

. It was described as "the glory of the Old City" and the "most striking edifice in all of Palestine." It also housed part of the Etz Chaim Yeshiva
Etz Chaim Yeshiva
Etz Chaim Yeshiva is an orthodox yeshiva located on Jaffa Road close to the Mahane Yehuda Market in downtown Jerusalem.-History:Etz Chaim Yeshiva was originally a Talmud Torah which was established in 1841 by the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Shmuel Salant. For the first two years classes were held in...

, the largest yeshiva
Yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 in Jerusalem. It was a focal point of Jewish spiritual life in the city and was the site of the installation of the Ashkenazic chief rabbis of both Palestine and Jerusalem. On his visit to Jerusalem in 1866, Moses Montefiore went to the synagogue, placing a silver breastplate on one of the Torah scrolls. When he visited again in 1875, a crowd of 3,000 Jews turned out to greet him. On February 3, 1901 a memorial service for Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 took place inside the synagogue in gratitude for the protection afforded to the Jews of Jerusalem by Britain. The service was presided over by the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, Shmuel Salant
Shmuel Salant
Shmuel Salant served as the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem for almost 70years. He was a renowned Talmudist and Torah scholar.-Biography:...

. According to a report in the Jewish Chronicle, the large building was "filled to its utmost capacity and policemen had to keep off the crowds, who vainly sought admission, by force". In around 1919, Benjamin Lee Gordon wrote that the "synagogue presented a very pleasant and dignified appearance. It was well illuminated with artistic lamps presented by a certain Mr. Lichtenstein, of Philadelphia." In 1921 Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar...

 was appointed first Chief Rabbi of Palestine at the synagogue. The synagogue also hosted Herbert Samuel
Herbert Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel
Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel GCB OM GBE PC was a British politician and diplomat.-Early years:...

, who was honoured with reciting a portion of the Torah. In 1923 Yosef Sholom Eliashiv
Yosef Sholom Eliashiv
Yosef Shalom Elyashiv is a Haredi rabbi and posek who lives in Jerusalem, Israel.At the age of , Elyashiv is active and remains the paramount leader of both Israel and the Diaspora Lithuanian-Haredi community, and many Ashkenazi Jews regard him as the posek ha-dor, the contemporary leading...

's bar mitzvah was held at the synagogue.

Destruction during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War



On May 25, 1948, during the battle for the Old City
Siege of Jerusalem (1948)
The Battle for Jerusalem occurred from 30 November 1947 to 11 June 1948 when Jewish and Arab population of Mandatory Palestine and later Israeli and Jordanian armies fought for the control of the city....

, commander of the Jordanian Arab Legion
Arab Legion
The Arab Legion was the regular army of Transjordan and then Jordan in the early part of the 20th century.-Creation:...

, Major Abdullah el Tell
Abdullah el Tell
Abdullah el-Tell, served in the Transjordanian Arab Legion during the 1948 war in Palestine rising from the rank of company commander to become Military Governor of the Old City of Jerusalem...

, wrote to Otto Lehner of the Red Cross to warn that unless the Haganah
Haganah
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

 abandoned its positions in the synagogue and its adjoining courtyard, he would be forced to attack it. Moshe Russnak, commander of the Haganah in the Old City, ignored his request, knowing that if the Hurva fell, the battle for the Jewish Quarter would soon be lost.
On May 26, 1948, the Jordanian Arab Legion delivered an ultimatum to the Jews to surrender within 12 hours; otherwise the Hurva would be bombarded.

On May 27, el-Tell, after receiving no answer to his proposition, told his men to "Get the Hurva Synagogue by noon." Fawzi el-Kutub executed the mission by placing a 200-litre barrel filled with explosives against the synagogue wall. The explosion resulted in a gaping hole and Haganah fighters spent forty-five minutes fighting in vain to prevent the Legionnaires from entering. When they finally burst through, they tried to reach the top of its dome to plant an Arab flag. Three were shot by snipers, but the fourth succeeded. The Arab flag flying over the Old City skyline signaled the Legion's triumph. A short while later a huge explosion reduced the 84 year old synagogue, together with the Etz Chaim Yeshiva attached to it, to rubble.

The question of whether responsibility for its destruction should rest on the shoulders of the Arab Legion or on the Haganah, who had turned it into their last stronghold, is debatable. What is certain is that the building was deliberately mined and blown up after the Arabs had captured the area.

Post-1967: Plans sought for a new design



Following the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, plans were mooted and designs sought for a new synagogue to be built at the site, part of the overall rehabilitation of the Jewish Quarter. Many religious and political figures supported the proposal to rebuild the original synagogue "where it was, as it was" in line with the traditional religious character of the area. However, the Jewish Quarter Development Company, in charge of the restoration of the Jewish Quarter, strongly opposed it. The Israeli planners and architects involved in developing the area wanted the building to reflect their modern Western identity. Additionally, although it would have been possible to rebuild it as it was, neither the architects nor the masons felt they were sufficiently qualified in traditional masonry technology to attempt it. Moreover, most of the original carved stones and surviving decorative elements had been removed, making a true "reconstruction" unrealisable. Swayed by the creativity of contemporary architecture and contrary to the 19th century design, which was meant to blend in with the Oriental landscape, they supported the modern redesign of the Hurva by a prominent architect.

Kahn plans


Leading the campaign to rebuild the Hurva was Shlomo Zalman Tzoref's great-great-grandson, Ya'acov Salomon. He consulted Ram Karmi
Ram Karmi
Ram Karmi is a leading Israeli architect. He is head of the Tel Aviv-based Ram Karmi Architects company, and is known for his Brutalist style.-Biography:Ram Karmi was born in Jerusalem, and grew up in Tel Aviv...

, who in turn recommended Louis Kahn
Louis Kahn
Louis Isadore Kahn was an American architect, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. After working in various capacities for several firms in Philadelphia, he founded his own atelier in 1935...

, a world-renowned architect who was also a founding member of the Jerusalem Committee. Between 1968 and 1973, Kahn presented three plans for the reconstruction. The ruins were incorporated in a memorial garden, with a new structure on an adjacent lot and a promenade, the "Route of the Prophets", leading to the Western Wall
Western Wall
The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount...

.
Kahn proposed a structure within a structure, the outer one composed of 16 piers covered in golden Jerusalem stone
Jerusalem stone
Jerusalem stone is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times...

 cut in blocks of the same proportions as those of the Western Wall. In the bases of the four corners of the two-story, 12 m (39 ft) high structure delineated by the piers would be small alcoves for meditation or individual prayer. The inner chamber, made of four inverted concrete pyramids supporting the building's roof, would be used for daily prayer services and allow for larger crowds on Sabbath or festivals. Boston-based architect Moshe Safdie
Moshe Safdie
Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA is an architect, urban designer, educator, theorist, and author. Born in the city of Haifa, then Palestine and now Israel, he moved with his family to Montreal, Canada, when he was 15 years old.-Career:...

, who had built extensively in Jerusalem and trained with Kahn in Philadelphia, was also in favour of rebuilding using contemporary design: "It's absurd to reconstruct the Hurva as if nothing had happened. If we have the desire to rebuild it, let's have the courage to have a great architect do it." However, former mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek
Teddy Kollek
Theodor "Teddy" Kollek was mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, and founder of the Jerusalem Foundation. Kollek was re-elected five times, in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983 and 1989...

, was not supportive. He viewed the plans as politically motivated and was concerned that such a building would compete in importance with the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque also known as al-Aqsa, is the third holiest site in Sunni Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem...

, Holy Sepulchre Church
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan....

 and even the Western Wall. Kahn's model was displayed in the Israel Museum
Israel Museum
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem was founded in 1965 as Israel's national museum. It is situated on a hill in the Givat Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem, near the Bible Lands Museum, the Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

, but his plan was shelved when he died in 1974.

Commemorative arch and subsequent proposals



As no permanent solution could be agreed upon, a temporary, symbolic solution was created. In 1977, one of the four stone arches that had originally supported the synagogue's monumental dome was recreated. The height of the original building, including the dome, had been 50% greater than that of the new commemorative arch, which stood 16 m (52 ft) high. Together with the remains of the building and explanatory plaques, it was a stark reminder of what had once stood at the site.

With the ongoing disputes over the modern façade of the proposed new building, which some felt did not properly match the Jewish Quarter's aesthetic, an Englishman named Sir Charles Clore
Charles Clore
Sir Charles Clore was a British financier, retail and property magnate and philanthropist.-Career:Charles Clore owned, through Sears Holdings, the British Shoe Corporation and Selfridges department store, as well as investing heavily in property.He owned Jowett Cars Ltd from 1945-1947 where he was...

 took the initiative to fund a new design projects. He commissioned Sir Denys Lasdun, who drew up plans between 1978 and 1981 that more closely adhered to the original Hurva. His plans were still considered insufficient, as they were rejected by Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 and the Minister of Interior, who refused to sign papers enabling construction to begin. No further progress was made and when Clore, who had wished to see the synagogue completed in his lifetime, died, his daughter provided funds to create one of the few open spaces in the Jewish Quarter adjacent to the Hurva.

The Hurva featured on a NIS 3.60 Israeli postage stamp in 1993 to commemorate 45 years of Israeli independence, and its arch on a $1.20 Antiguan
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands...

 postage stamp in 1996.

Reconstruction


The plan to rebuild the synagogue in its original 19th century style received approval by the Israeli government in 2000. Jerusalem architect Nahum Meltzer, who proposed rebuilding the synagogue in its original Ottoman format, was given the commission. Meltzer stated that "both out of respect for the historical memory of the Jewish people and out of respect for the built-up area of the Old City, it is fitting for us to restore the lost glory and rebuild the Hurva Synagogue the way it was." The state-funded Jewish Quarter Development Corporation originally convinced the Israeli government to allocate $6.2 million (NIS 24m), about 85% of the cost, for the reconstruction, with private donors contributing the remainder. In the end, the government only gave NIS 11m, with the remainder being donated by a Ukrainian Jewish businessman and philanthropist, Vadim Rabinovitch.

In 2002 the Israeli mint issued a set of medals featuring the synagogue to mark the beginning of the reconstruction project. Following comprehensive historic research, the reconstruction works began in 2005 and on February 15, 2007, Rabbi Simcha ha-Cohen Kook of Rehovot
Rehovot
Rehovot is a city in the Center District of Israel, about south of Tel Aviv. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics , at the end of 2009 the city had a total population of 112,700. Rehovot's official website estimates the population at 114,000.Rehovot was built on the site of Doron,...

, was appointed as the rabbi of the Hurva, a move confirmed by leading rabbis, including Yosef Sholom Eliashiv
Yosef Sholom Eliashiv
Yosef Shalom Elyashiv is a Haredi rabbi and posek who lives in Jerusalem, Israel.At the age of , Elyashiv is active and remains the paramount leader of both Israel and the Diaspora Lithuanian-Haredi community, and many Ashkenazi Jews regard him as the posek ha-dor, the contemporary leading...

. On April 15, 2008 a celebration marked the placing of the keystone in the synagogue's dome.

Recently, contention arose over what kind of institution the Hurva would be. Secular
Secular Jewish culture
Secular Jewish culture embraces several related phenomena; above all, it is the international culture of secular communities of Jewish people, but it can also include the cultural contributions of individuals who identify as secular Jews...

 and National-religious
Religious Zionism
Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Jewish religious faith...

 activists opposed the notion of another synagogue in the Old City and wanted the site to become a museum presenting the historical saga of the Jewish Quarter and displaying archaeological finds unearthed there. They viewed the appointment of Kook as the rabbi while the structure was still a shell as a move aimed at preventing a Modern Orthodox
Modern Orthodox Judaism
Modern Orthodox Judaism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism that attempts to synthesize Jewish values and the observance of Jewish law, with the secular, modern world....

 rabbi, who would have been more amenable to a broader utilisation of the site, from getting the position. Rabbi of the Jewish Quarter, Avigdor Nebenzahl, has been clear that he wants the building to serve as a synagogue and a house of study.

Rededication and response


The reconstructed Hurva was officially opened on March 15, 2010 in the presence of Israeli politicians and chief rabbis. A day earlier, hundreds of people had accompanied a new Torah scroll into the synagogue. Several Palestinian leaders claimed that the rededication signaled Israel’s intent to destroy the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount
Temple Mount
The Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as , and in Arabic as the Haram Ash-Sharif , is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a religious site for thousands of years...

 and replace it with the Third Temple. Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 official Khatem Abd el-Khader called the renovation of the Hurva a "provocation", warned Israel that it was "playing with fire" and called on Palestinians to "converge on Al-Aksa to save it." Khaled Meshaal of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 described the synagogue's opening as "a declaration of war" and called it a "falsification of history and Jerusalem's religious and historic monuments." Fearing riots by Arab protestors, over 3,000 policemen were deployed ahead of the dedication ceremony. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference said that the reopening risked "dragging the region into a religious war" and claimed the building was historically on a waqf
Waqf
A waqf also spelled wakf formally known as wakf-alal-aulad is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust...

(Islamic trust) land. The Jordanian government also condemned the move stating that it "categorically rejects the rededication of Hurva synagogue and all other unilateral Israeli measures in occupied East Jerusalem because they run counter to international legitimacy." Iran urged the international community to respond to the reopening and a Foreign Ministry spokesman called the move a "catastrophe that has distressed the Islamic world." Israeli officials countered that Arab fears of a takeover of the Temple Mount were based on rumors and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

 extended a message of coexistence. The U.S. State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 criticised Palestinians for stoking tensions at the rededication of the historic synagogue. The day after, Arabs clashed with Israeli police in East Jerusalem after Palestinian groups called for a "day of rage" over the reopening.

In September 2010, Hamas released a propaganda video showing various Israeli landmarks, including the Hurva synagogue, ablaze after coming under missile attack. The images were the result of special effects, as no such attacks had taken place.

Books


  • Ben-Arieh, Yehoshua. Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century, The Old City, St. Martin's Press, 1985. ISBN 0-312-44187-8
  • Benveniśtî, Mêrôn. Son of the cypresses: memories, reflections, and regrets from a political life, University of California Press, 2007. ISBN 0520238257
  • Blumberg, Arnold & Finn, James and Elizabeth Anne. A View from Jerusalem, 1849–1858, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1981. ISBN 0-838622712
  • Collins, Larry
    Larry Collins (writer)
    Larry Collins, born John Lawrence Collins Jr., , was an American writer.-Life:...

     & Lapierre, Dominique
    Dominique Lapierre
    Dominique Lapierre is a French author.-Life:Dominique Lapierre was born in Châtelaillon-Plage, Charente-Maritime, France. At the age of thirteen, he traveled to America with his father who was a diplomat...

    . O Jerusalem!, Pan Books
    Pan Books
    Pan Books is an imprint which first became active in the 1940s and is now part of the British-based Macmillan Publishers owned by German publishers, Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group....

    , 1973. ISBN 0-330-23514-1
  • Finn, James. Stirring Times, Adamant Media Corporation, 2004; [C. Kegan Paul & Co., London, 1878]. ISBN 140215089X
  • Gilbert, Martin
    Martin Gilbert
    Sir Martin John Gilbert, CBE, PC is a British historian and Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford. He is the author of over eighty books, including works on the Holocaust and Jewish history...

    . Jerusalem, Rebirth of a City, Chatto & Windus, 1985. ISBN 0-701128925
  • Gilbert, Martin
    Martin Gilbert
    Sir Martin John Gilbert, CBE, PC is a British historian and Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford. He is the author of over eighty books, including works on the Holocaust and Jewish history...

    . Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, Chatto & Windus, 1996. ISBN 0-701130709
  • Gordon, Benjamin Lee. New Judea: Jewish life in modern Palestine and Egypt, Ayer Publishing, 1977; [J. H. Greenstone, 1919]. ISBN 0405102518
  • Horovitz, Ahron. Jerusalem, Footsteps Through Time, Feldheim
    Feldheim
    Feldheim Publishers is an American Orthodox Jewish Judaica publisher. It is headquartered in New York.Feldheim Publishers was founded in 1939 by Phillip Feldheim.-List of famous Feldheim books:*The 39 Melochos*All For the Boss...

    , 2000. ISBN 1583303987
  • Kroyanker, David. Jerusalem Architecture, Tauris Parke Books, 1994. ISBN 1-85043-873-0
  • Maoz, Moshe. Studies on Palestine during the Ottoman period, Magnes Press, 1975.
  • Millgram, Abraham Ezra. Jerusalem Curiosities, Jewish Publication Society, 1990. ISBN 0827603584
  • Morgenstern, Arie. Hastening Redemption
    Hastening Redemption
    Hastening Redemption: Messianism and the Resettlement of the Land of Israel is 1997 history of on nineteenth century Haredi migration to Palestine prior to Zionism by Israeli historian Arie Morgenstern.-Scholarly impact:...

    , Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 0195305787
  • Rabinovich, Itamar & Reinharz, Jehuda. Israel in the Middle East, UPNE, 2008. ISBN 0874519624
  • Ricca, Simone. Reinventing Jerusalem, Profile Books
    Profile Books
    Profile Books is a British independent publishing firm founded in 1996 to publish stimulating non-fiction. It publishes across a wide range of subjects including history, biography, memoir, politics, current affairs, travel and popular science. It also publishes all The Economist Books.In 2003 it...

    , 2001. ISBN 1861973330
  • Rossoff, Dovid. Where Heaven Touches Earth, Guardian Press, 1998. ISBN 0-87306-879-3
  • Safdie, Moshe
    Moshe Safdie
    Moshe Safdie, CC, FAIA is an architect, urban designer, educator, theorist, and author. Born in the city of Haifa, then Palestine and now Israel, he moved with his family to Montreal, Canada, when he was 15 years old.-Career:...

    . Jerusalem: The Future of the Past, Houghton Mifflin, 1989. ISBN 0395353750
  • Shulman, Yaakov Dovid. Pathway to Jerusalem: The Travel Letters of Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartenura, CIS Publishers, 1992. ISBN 1-56062-130-3
  • Wasserstein, Bernard. Divided Jerusalem, I.B.Tauris, 2007. ISBN 184511387-X
  • Vale, Lawrence J. & Campanella, Thomas J. The resilient city: how modern cities recover from disaster, Oxford University Press US, 2005. ISBN 0195175832

Newspapers and magazines


  • Green, David. "From the ruins: A master architect's attempt to rebuild on sacred ground", Boston Globe, February 29, 2004. Accessed July 25, 2007
  • Hasson, Nir. "If the Vilna Gaon was right, the 3rd Temple is on its way", Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , November 30, 2009. Accessed March 10, 2010
  • "The Hurva returns to life", Chadrei Charedim, February 20, 2007. Accessed March 11, 2010.
  • Lefkovits, Etgar. "Hurva Synagogue restoration nears completion", Jerusalem Post, March 28, 2008. Accessed October 25, 2008
  • Lis, Jonathan. "Ruined synagogue to get new arch", Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , April 15, 2008. Accessed October 25, 2008
  • Rigler, Sara Yoheved. "Destroying Synagogues Again", Aish.com, September 13, 2005. Accessed November 2, 2008
  • Rossoff, Dovid. "The Churva Synagogue", Jewish Magazine, December 1997. Accessed October 25, 2008
  • Shragai, Nadav. "Out of the ruins", Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , December 20, 2005. Accessed January 8, 2007
  • Shragai, Nadav. "Byzantine arch found at site of renovated Jerusalem synagogue", Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , November 28, 2006. Accessed July 25, 2007
  • Shragai, Nadav. "The first official victim of terror", Haaretz
    Haaretz
    Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

    , May 5, 2008. Accessed August 11, 2008


External links