The Hurva Synagogue
Bela Taraseiskey, The Hurva Synagogue, Jerusalem, acrylic on canvas, ©2009, 8.5 X 11 inches
The Hurva Synagogue, (Hebrew: בית הכנסת החורבה: Beit ha-Knesset ha-Hurba), located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, was for centuries the site of Jerusalem's main Ashkenazi synagogue.
For centuries, the Hurva Synagogue was the largest and most important synagogue in Jerusalem. Towering high above the rooftops of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City, the Hurva was a landmark of Jewish worship from the 16th century until its final destruction by the Jordanians in 1948.
The Hurva, whose name means "ruin" was initially built by disciples of Rabbi Judah Hahasid in the early 18th century. It was destroyed shortly thereafter by Muslims demanding the return of loans given to build the synagogue.
Following its construction in 1864, the Hurva was the tallest building in the congested Jewish Quarter, its dome and that of the quarter's other main synagogue - Tifereth Yisrael - became a vivid and integral part of the city skyline in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries.
Today, the synagogue is undergoing a restoration to its former magnificence. The Hurva will be back in all its former glory as both a synagogue and a center for World Jewry*
*From article by Etgar Lefkovits. The Jerusalem Post, Mar 28, 2008