Photographer's Note

This is the view of the rebuilding of the Hurva Synogogue.
In the year 1700, a mass immigration of Rabbi Judah he-Hasid (Segal) and his 300 to 1,000 students (sources vary on the number) arrived in Jerusalem from Poland. They bought the courtyard next to the Ramban Synagogue, which had been closed by the Ottomans in 1589 due to Muslim incitement. On this site they began building a synagogue to accommodate the increased Jewish population of the city.

Due to the sudden death of their rabbi and the subsequent decline of the community, the immigrants were unable to finish construction or pay their debts. In 1721, the unfinished structure was burned together with the 40 Sifrei Torah it contained by the Arab creditors. From this time on the site lay in ruins and became known as Hurbat Rav Yehudah HaHasid the Ruin of Rabbi Judah the Pious. The name was commonly abridged to "the Hurba" (commonly referred to in English as "Hurva") or "the Ruin."
During July and August 2003, an excavation took place inside the Hurva. It was carried out by the Institute for Archaeology at the Hebrew University and the Israel Exploration Society. The excavation was funded by the Jewish Quarter Development Company of Jerusalem.
In 2005, the Israeli government announced that a version of Assad Effendi's 19th-century design would soon rise above the Jewish Quarter. The government-funded Jewish Quarter Development Corporation convinced the Israeli government to allocate $6.2 million for the reconstruction of the old Ottoman synagogue. Jerusalem architect Nahum Meltzer was given the commission, and was told to hew as closely as possible to the 19th-century design. Meltzer feels 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." Work has started on the site and is expected to take four years.

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Additional Photos by Yael Manis (Yael5766) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 19 W: 5 N: 19] (218)
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