Hurva Synagogue
Hurva synagogue.jpg

A pre-1948 photograph

Basic information
Location 89 ha-Yehudim Street
Old City of Jerusalem,
Geographic coordinates 31°46′30″N 35°13′53″E / 31.77510°N 35.23135°E / 31.77510; 35.23135Coordinates: 31°46′30″N 35°13′53″E / 31.77510°N 35.23135°E / 31.77510; 35.23135
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
Architectural description
Architectural style Neo-Byzantine
Construction cost 1m piasters (1864)[1]
$7.3m (NIS 28m) (2009)[2]
Capacity 450 (1864)[3]
250 (2009)[2]
Height (max) 24 meters (82 feet)

The Hurva Synagogue, (Hebrew: בית הכנסת החורבה, translit: Beit ha-Knesset ha-Hurba), also known as Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid, (trans. Ruin of Rabbi Judah the Pious) located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem was for centuries the site of Jerusalem's main Ashkenazi synagogue. In 1864, a new synagogue officially consecrated Beis Yaakov Synagogue was erected at the same site by the Perushim community. It was later reduced to rubble during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. After Israel captured the Old City in 1967, a number of plans were submitted for the design of a new building. After years of deliberation, a commemorative arch was erected at site in 1977, itself becoming a prominent landmark of the Jewish Quarter.[2] The plan to rebuild the synagogue in its original style received approval by the Israeli Government in 2000. It was due to be completed during 2009.

1700s: Reconstruction attempt by the followers of Judah he-Hasid

The site where the Hurva Synagogue stands today had been a courtyard and synagogue for the Ashkenazi community of Jerusalem since the 13th century.[4] Another tradition claims that a synagogue existed on the site from the time of the 2nd century sage Judah ha-Nasi.[5] The synagogue first gained notability when a group of between 300 and 1,000 people (sources vary on the number) led by Rabbi Judah he-Hasid arrived from Poland on October 14, 1700. Although the group was left leaderless when he-Hasid died a few days later, they persisted to establish themselves in the city.

The group's aspirations could only be realised at great expense. One of them, Rabbi Gedaliah of Siemiatycze, wrote of how they encountered difficulties with the Ottoman authorities who had to be bribed to enable them to proceed with the construction of new buildings and dwellings. They wanted to rebuild the synagogue located in the courtyard next to the Ramban Synagogue on a larger scale than the old one, but the Turkish authorities forbade it. In order for them to receive permission, further bribes were made to the pashas. In addition, while construction was taking place, the pasha had to be paid 1,500 lion thalers over three years. Then, since the building had been built higher than the old one without permission of the sultan, another pasha wished to halt the building. To satisfy him, another 500 lion thalers was handed over. Finally, a new pasha from Constantinople arrived who also had to be appeased with 500 lion thalers. In order to finance all the unexpected costs, they were compelled to borrow large sums from the Turks at high rates of interest.[6] Rabbi Gedaliah wrote that:

“Our debts press like a heavy yoke on our necks. We our continually taken into custody and before one debtor can be redeemed, another has already been detained. One scarcely dares to go out in the street, where, to cap it all, the tax collectors lie in wait like wolves and lions to devour us.”[6]

Pressure and threats from the creditors led to a messenger being sent to Europe to solicit funds for repayment of the loan.[7] However, twenty years later, the debt still had not been repaid.[8] In late 1721 the lenders lost patience and set the building and its contents alight. The Ashkenasi community was subsequently expelled from the city until the debt could be repaid. For the following 89 years, no Ashkenasi Jews were to be found in Jerusalem. The courtyard was converted into shops and the synagogue lay desolate and descended into ruin. It thus became known as the "Ruin of Rabbi Judah the Pious".[7]

1812–30: Efforts of the Perushim regarding the Hurva

Between 1808 and 1812 a group of ascetic Jews known as Perushim immigrated to Palestine from Lithuania. They were disciples of the Vilna Gaon and had settled in Safed. Some had wished to settle in Jerusalem but desisted from doing so fearing that descendants of the creditors still held the old promissory notes relating to the century old debts incurred by the previous group of Ashkenasi immigrants, and that their new group would inherit responsibility for repayment. The descendants of the hasidim who made aliya in 1777 also presented a problem. They apparently objected to any effort by the perushim to take control of the courtyard of the Hurva, 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.[9]

Yishuv haYashan
Jews in Jerusalem 1895
Jewish life in the Holy Land before Modern Zionism
NahmanidesYechiel of Paris
BartenuraYehuda he-Hasid
RambanAriHurvaShomrei HaChomos
Related articles:
History of the Jews in the Land of IsraelHistory of Zionism (Timeline) • Haredim and ZionismEdah HaChareidisNeturei KartaShaDaRYishuvThree Oaths

In late 1815, Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Shklov arrived in Jerusalem with a group of his followers from Safed. The group directed their main efforts to rebuilding the synagogue, which had symbolised the expulsion of the Ashkenazim from Jerusalem. By reasserting control over the site and rebuilding it, they could demonstrate their intention to re-establish themselves in the city. Rebuilding one of Jerusalem's ruins would also have symbolic kabbalistic significance. The “repairing” of an earlier destruction would represent the first step of rebuilding the entire city, a required precursor for the arrival of the messiah.[9] In 1816 the Perushim “pleaded with the powers in the city of Constantinople to obtain a royal decree that the Arabs residing in Jerusalem would not be permitted to enforce the debts of the Ashkenasim”, but nothing came of it. A year later, several leaders of the group including Solomon Zalman Shapira and Solomon Pach travelled to Constantinople to obtain the firman. Two years later in 1819 their efforts were realised when they received the relevant decree absolving the Ashkenasim of their debts.[10] After acquiring an additional legal document delineating the entire Hurvah site acquired in 1700, including the dilapidated dwellings and the shops built by the creditors’ heirs on part of the site, they now had to secure another firman that would allow construction at the site, including a large synagogue within it. Two successive missions in 1820 and 1821 to obtain the firman from the sultan’s court failed due to external factors.[10]

Still waiting for permission to build in the courtyard, the Perushim proceeded by relying on an old firman given to the Jews in 1623 which stated that there could be no objection to the Jews building in their own quarters. Having received a supporting document issued by the Qadi of Jerusalem in March 1824, it was possible for them begin rebuilding the dwellings in the courtyard. In practise, 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 creditors and the local government's disregard of the documents proving their ownership of the courtyard.[11]

A mission to Europe in 1825 by Solomon Zalman Shapira to secure the necessary firman which would place the courtyard firmly in their possession and to raise funds to cover costs already incurred in trying to redeem the courtyard was unsuccessful, as was a later mission attempted in 1829 by Rabbi Zalman Zoref, a Lithuanian-born silversmith.[11]

1831–37: Ali gives building consent, Menachem Zion Synagogue established

With the annexation of Jerusalem by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1831, a window of opportunity arose for the Perushim. They petitioned Ali regarding the rebuilding of the Hurva, but permission was not forthcoming. Ali was apprehensive to deviate from the longstanding Muslim tradition and the Covenant of Omar, which restricted the repair or construction of non-Moslem houses of worship. However, five months after the earthquake of May 1834, Ali relaxed the prohibition and authorized the Sephardim to carry out repair works to their existing synagogues. This consent gave rise to further efforts by the Ashkenasim to receive authorisation to rebuild their synagogue.[12]

On 23 June 1836, after traveling to Egypt, Zalman Zoref, together with the support of the Austrian and Russian consuls in Alexandria, 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 of Vienna. Ali was hopeful that by giving his permission to rebuild the Hurva, 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 and 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 synagogue in Palestine be applied to the Hurva.[13] But Lehren had doubts as to what exactly the firman permitted. Explicit authorization for construction of a large synagogue was absent. A letter from the leaders of the community to Moses Montefiore in 1849 confirms that permission for a synagogue had not been sanctioned; they had only been allowed to build dwellings in the area.[14]

In September 1836, confidently in possession of the firman, the Perushim began clearing away the rubble from the Hurva courtyard. The foundations of the original synagogue were revealed and construction began. Yet the Arab creditors refused to relinquish the claims they had on the Jews and continued to interfere with the works. Zoref was forced to appear in court requesting a further ruling cancelling the debts. He claimed the Ashkenasim currently in Jerusalem were not related in any way to those who had borrowed the money. He also mentioned that an injunction had already been passed which absolved the Ashkenasinm from paying the debt[15] and maintained that the Turkish Statute of Limitations cancelled out the debts of Judah he-Hasid's followers.[16] The court ruled in the Askenasim's favour and the building continued.[15] Zoref nevertheless had to appease the Arabs with annual bribes. At some point the arrangement ceased and they tried to kill him. One night he was shot at by an unknown assailant. On a second occasion he was struck on the head with a sword and died of his wounds three months later.[16] In the end, the Perushim prevailed and on Friday 6 January 1837 the modest Menachem Zion Synagogue was dedicated[15] and in 1854, a second smaller synagogue was built in the compound.[17]

1857–64: Construction of the Beis Yaakov Synagogue

In the early 1850s, the Perushim considered building a large synagogue at the same site. An outcome of the Crimean War 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, Consul James Finn of the British consulate in Jerusalem wrote to the British Ambassador in Constantinople describing the wishes of the 2,000 strong Ashkenasi community to build their own 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 Ashkenasi Jews to rebuild their ruined synagogue.[1] As the title to the plot of land was held by the Amzalag family who were British subjects, they designated London-born Rabbi Hershell to negotiate the transfer. The British consulate agreed to lend its sanction to the contract in order to avoid possible intrusion by the Turks.[4] At issue was the question of whether the building of a synagogue at the site constituted the repair of an old house of non-Moslem worship or the establishment of a new synagogue. The Turks would have to grant a special license for the latter. Eventually in 1856, an imperial firman authorising the building of the synagogue was obtained at the personal intervention of Sir Moses Montefiore.[18]

With permission granted, the next challenge faced by the impoverished community was funding for the edifice. Collection of monies took place throughout the diaspora. One notable emissary was Jacob Sapir who set off for Egypt in 1857 and returned in 1863 having visited Yemen, Aden, India, Java, Australia, New Zealand and Ceylon.[19] The largest single gift came from Yechezkel Reuben, a wealthy sephardi Jew from Baghdad, who gave 100,000 of the million piasters needed. His son, Menashe, and daughter, Lady Sasson, later supplemented his donation. The combined "Reuben" donations eventually covered more than half the cost. It marked an important step in the unity of the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities of the city.[1] Another contributor was the King Frederick William IV of Prussia, whose name was inscribed above the entrance together with those of other benefactors.[20] 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".[1]

On 11 April 1857, the cornerstone was laid in the presence of Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shmuel Salant, who had been instrumental is raising the necessary funding. Some of the stone used in construction of the building was purchased from the Industrial Plantation, where poor Jews assisted in quarrying and shaping the blocks.[21]


Hurva sideview

Northern facade

Hurvah pre-1948

Eastern facade

The synagogue was designed by the Sultan's official architect Assad Effendi. Built in neo-Byzantine style, it was supported by four massive pilasters 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 which capped it. The facade was covered in finely hewn stone and incorporated 42-foot-high window arches. The height of the synagogue to the bottom of its dome was around 16 meters and to the top of the dome it was 24 meters, (82 feet). Twelve windows were placed around the base of the dome which was surrounded by a veranda, which offered a fine view of large parts of the Old City and the area around Jerusalem.[22] It was one of the tallest structures in the Old City and was visible for miles.


The synagogue prayer hall was reached via an entrance with three iron gates. The length was around 15.5 meters and the width was around 14 meters. 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.[22]

The Holy Ark together with its ornamental gates were brought to Jerusalem from the Nikolaijewsky synagogue located in Kherson, Russia. The Nikolaijewsky synagogue had been used by Russian Jewish conscripts who had been forced to spend twenty-five years in the Tsarist army. The Ark consisted of four Corinthian columns and was decorated with baroque carvings.[1] The ark itself had two levels, was covered with a curtain and held 50 Torah scrolls. The alcove where the ark stood was adorned with dazzling woodcuts of flowers and birds. 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.[22]

Hurva Syn Jeru2

Former interior, c.1935

The centre of the synagogue originally contained a high wooden bimah, 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.[23] Frescos with religious motifs, such as stars of David, the menorah, Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments, 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."[22]

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 which were bought with his money were two big bronze candelabras; a silver Hanukah candlestick which "arrived miraculously on the 1st Tevet [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 and Simchat Torah."[1]

1864–1948: The golden years

Construction work progressed slowly for lack of funds and it took a further eight years, till 1864, for the building to be completed. The new synagogue was dedicated by Baron Alphonse James de Rothschild, brother of Edmond James de Rothschild, who dedicated much of his life supporting the Jews of Palestine. It was officially named "Beis Yaakov" — House of Jacob — in memory of their father James (Yaakov) Rothschild. The locals however, continued to call it the Hurva.[24] 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 describes the “beautiful chants and anthems in Hebrew”, the subsequent refreshments provided and the playing of Russian and Austrian music.[5]

For the next 84 years, the building was considered the most beautiful and most important synagogue in the Land of Israel. It also housed part of the Etz Chaim Yeshiva, the largest yeshiva in Jerusalem. It was a focal point of Jewish spiritual life in the city and was the site of the installation of the Ashkenazi chief rabbis of both Palestine and Jerusalem.[22] On his visit to Jerusalem in 1866, Moses Montefiore went to see the famed Hurva 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.[25] On February 3, 1901 a memorial service for Queen Victoria 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 Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, Shmuel Salant. 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".[26]

1948 Arab-Israeli War: Reduced to rubble once again

Arab Legion soldier in ruins of Hurva

Arab Legion soldier within the ruins, June 1948

On May 25, 1948, during the battle for the Old City, commander of the Jordanian Arab Legion, Major Abdullah el Tell, wrote to Otto Lehner of the Red Cross to warn that unless the Haganah 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.[27] 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.[28]

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 synagogue, together with the Etz Chaim Yeshiva attached to it, to rubble.[27][29]

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 for certain is that the building was deliberately mined and blown up after the Arabs had captured the area.[30] el-Tell wrote in 1959 that “operations of calculated destruction had been set in motion because the Jewish Quarter had no strategic value. Its buildings and shrines were not destroyed in battle. All this took place after military activities had come to a standstill.”[31]

Post 1967: Plans sought for a new design

File:Hurva ruin 1967.jpg

Following the Six Day War, 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.” However, the Jewish Quarter Development Company in charge of the restoration of the Jewish Quarter, strongly opposed it. Their reasoning was based on a number of factors: a) The planners and architects involved in developing the area were all secular. They stressed the nationalist basis of the project and rejected the traditional religious character of the area; b) When “reconstruction” became the official religious and right-wing position, it became unacceptable to them; c) They wanted to promote unity and believed that reconstructing the synagogue of one particular group would have stirred opposition within other communities; d) Contrary to the 19th century design which was meant to blend in with the Oriental/Arab landscape, Israeli architects wanted the building to reflect their modern Western identity; e) Although it would have been possible to rebuild it as it was, neither the architects nor the masons 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 “reconstruction” unrealisable. Swayed by the creativity of contemporary architecture, they supported the redesign of a new Hurva by a prominent architect.[17]

1968–73: The Kahn plans

Leading the campaign to rebuild the Hurva was Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Tzoref's great-great-grandson, Ya'acov Salomon. He consulted Ram Karmi, who in turn recommended Louis Kahn, 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.[32] Kahn proposed a structure within a structure, the outer one composed of 16 piers covered in golden Jerusalem stone 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-meter 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. Kahn's model was displayed in the Israel Museum, but when he died in 1974, his plan was shelved. Former mayor Teddy Kollek wrote to Kahn in 1968 that "the decision concerning your plans is essentially a political one. Should we in the Jewish Quarter have a building of major importance which competes with the mosque and the Holy Sepulchre, and should we in general have any building which would compete in importance with the Western Wall?"[32]


The commemorative arch built after the Six-Day War

Boston-based architect Moshe Safdie, who has 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."[32]

1977–81: Commemorative arch, subsequent proposals shelved

As no permanent solution could be agreed upon, a temporary, symbolic solution was created. In 1977, one of the four arches that had originally supported the synagogue's monumental dome was recreated. The 16 meter high stone arch spanning the space where the Hurva once stood was erected by two architects. The height of the original building, including the dome, had been twice as high as the symbolic arch. Together with the remains of the building and explanatory plaques, it was a stark reminder of what had once stood at the site.[32]

With the 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 took the initiative and agreed to fund the project, providing it could be completed in a specified number of years, (his wish was to see the project completed before his death).[32] Between 1978 and 1981 Sir Denys Lasdun drew up plans that more closely adhered to the original, yet insufficiently as the plans were rejected by Prime Minister Menachem Begin,[17] and the Minister of Interior at the time refused to sign the papers so that construction could begin. Time ran out and the Hurva was not rebuilt. However, Sir Charles's daughter provided the necessary funds to create one of the few open spaces in the Jewish Quarter adjacent to the ruined synagogue.[32]

2000: Approval granted for restoration of original design

Hurva synagogue July2009

Nearing completion, July 2009

Old Jerusalem Hurva Synagogue 2009

September 2009

The plan to rebuild the synagogue in its original style received approval by the Israeli Government in 2000. 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."[22] The government-funded Jewish Quarter Development Corporation originally convinced the Israeli government to allocate $6.2 million (NIS 24m), about 85 percent of the cost, for the reconstruction of the old Ottoman synagogue with private donors contributing the remainder. In the end, the government only paid NIS 11m, with the remainder of the funds donated by a Ukrainian Jewish businessman and philanthropist, Vadim Rabinovitch.[2]

2003: Excavations

During July and August 2003, before construction works commenced, 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. Before the excavation, the Israel Antiquities Authority supervised the removal of the stone flooring which had been laid after the 1967 Six Day War. Earth was removed to a depth of two metres over an area of 300 m2. The dig revealed evidence from four main settlement periods: First Temple (800-600 BCE), Second Temple (100 CE), Byzantine and Ottoman.[33]

Events since 2005

Following comprehensive historic research, the reconstruction works began in 2005 and are expected to end in 2009.

On February 15, 2007, during construction works, Rabbi Simcha ha-Cohen Kook of Rehovot, was appointed as the rabbi of the Hurva. A certificate of confirmation was signed by leading rabbis, including Yosef Sholom Eliashiv. Menachem Porush, who remembered the original building in its glory, mentioned how overjoyed he was to see the fulfillment of his dream which he had never given up on – the rebuilding of the Hurva.[34]

During the reconstruction process, contention has arisen over what kind of institution the Hurva will be. Secular and National-religious activists want the site to become a museum accessible for tourists and oppose the notion of another synagogue in the Old City. They want the reconstructed synagogue to present the historical saga of the Jewish Quarter and display archaeological finds unearthed there. They say the appointment of Kook as the rabbi of the synagogue while the structure was still a shell was meant to prevent a Modern Orthodox 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.[35]

According to Israel Today, the Hurva is expected to be completed and dedicated on March 15, 2010, and if the prophesy of the Vilna Gaon is correct, its completion will lead to construction of the Third Temple.[36]

Image gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Gilbert (1985), pp. 79-80
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lefkovits (2005)
  3. "": Old Hurva Synagogue.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Blumberg (1981), pp. 62-63
  5. 5.0 5.1 Finn (1878), p. 462
  6. 6.0 6.1 Millgram (1990), pp. 109-114
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rossoff (1997)
  8. Lis
  9. 9.0 9.1 Morgenstern (2006), pp. 99
  10. 10.0 10.1 Morgenstern (2006), pp. 114-115
  11. 11.0 11.1 Morgenstern (2006), p. 117
  12. Morgenstern (2006), p. 118
  13. Morgenstern (2006), p. 119
  14. Morgenstern (2006), p. 120
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Morgenstern (2006), p. 121
  16. 16.0 16.1 Shragai (2008)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Ricca (2007), pp. 104-110
  18. Blumberg (1981), pp. 62-63. Gilbert (1985), p. 84 dates delivery of this firman as July 1855.
  19. Gilbert (1985), pp. 98-99
  20. Wasserstein (2001), p. 51
  21. Finn (1878), p. 463
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Shragai (2005)
  23. Rigler (2005)
  24. Horovitz (2000), pp. 171-174
  25. Ben-Arieh (1985), p. 305
  26. Gilbert (1996), p. 2
  27. 27.0 27.1 Collins (1973), pp. 492-494
  28. Rabinovich & Reinharz (2008), p. 82
  29. Mordechai Weingarten
  30. Safdie (1989), p. 82. "This was not done in the heat of battle, but by official order. Explosives were placed carefully and thoughtfully under the springing points of the domes, of the great Hurva synagogue."
  31. Jeffers (2004), p. 164.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 32.5 Green (2004)
  33. Shragai (2006)
  34. (Hebrew) (February 20, 2007). "The Hurva returns to life". Chadrei Charedim. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  35. Hasson, Nir (November 30, 2009). "If the Vilna Gaon was right, the 3rd Temple is on its way". Haaretz. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  36. "If the Vilna Gaon was right, the Third Temple is on its way". Israel Today. November 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-06. 


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