Monday, November 30, 2009

Secular and National Religious want Hurva - Synagogue for Tourism


In 1948, the Jordanians blew it up, in our days, Arab workers have been rebuilding it: The HURVA Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City.

Now the secular together with some national religious fight over leadership. Who should run the Synagogue ?
If the Haredim take over, women and tourists would be not welcomed, so the national religious together with their secular friends.

Who says WOMEN are not welcomed ?
Women would be but not the non - Jewish tourists. We have enough of them creeping around in Jerusalem's Great Synagogue.

It is the first time I have ever heard that even the national religious Jews want a Synagogue for tourism. Automatically the question comes up, how much money parts of the national religious movement has received from Christian missionary organizations in order to keep the doors open for fanatic Christians.

So, if you want to have the Hurva as a tourist attraction, keep it this way. But WITHOUT an ARON HAKODESH !


Kikar.Net (Hebrew)

Haaretz (English)


  1. "Women would be but not the non - Jewish tourists."

    Come again? Whatever happenned to כי ביתי בת תפילה יקרא לכל העמים ("For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people")

    This is very prominently and in my opinion, very appropriately, written on the entrance sign to the Kotel.

    "We have enough of them creeping around in Jerusalem's Great Synagogue."

    Once again, if they come with respect, WELCOME (see above pasuk). Besides, I personally find the Great Synagogue a little hard to take seriously. It reminds me too much of the decor of a Catskills hotel

  2. B"H

    What does a Christian tourist with a cross hanging around his neck to do at a Synagogue service ?

    What does a Christian tourist pulling out his NT or making notes has to do at a Synagogue service ?

    Both of these actions have happened in Jerusalem Synagogues !!! We are used to quite a lot here.

    Even if they keep quite and don't come with a cross: What do they have to do while we saying Aleinu ? What do they have in common with "Shema Israel" ?

    Furthermore, many of those Christians come in order to pick up things from Jews and later on use it for their missionizing.

    As I said, in Jerusalem we are used to many of those things.
    Not every Gentile entering a Synagoge has negative goals but who is able to differentiate ?

    If I go to a Synagogue I want a Jewish atmosphere and not a Christian sitting next to me asking me why I don't believe in J. !

  3. "Not every Gentile entering a Synagoge has negative goals but who is able to differentiate ?"

    I think you state very clearly how we can differentiate and what constitutes respectable decorum for non-Jews at a synagogue, during a service or not.

    Not wearing a prominent cross, not waving around their copy of the X-ian scriptures, sounds like a good baseline.

    As for taking notes, if they are clearly not Jewish, why is this assur? I think they SHOULD learn from us. heaven knows the internal contradictions of X-ianity will become evident enough to any sincere, educated person who is exposed to them.

  4. B"H

    Tha's very true but don't you want a Jewish atmosphere in the Synagogue ?

    Okay, you can overlook it but still, I don't go into churches. Not even for touristic purposes.

  5. I don't go into churches either, not even for sightseeing. It's halachically assur, and that's enough for me.