Türkiye: Synagogue in Izmir has been restored

Türkiye: Synagogue in Izmir is being restored

In the Turkish city of Izmir, restoration and reconstruction work on the synagogue Beit Hillel began about a year ago, which averted the danger of it collapsing.

Thanks to these measures, the historic building from the 17th century, of which only the façade was intact, was preserved. A fire had destroyed most of the building at the time. With the completion of the reconstruction work, the synagogue is to be converted into a museum, at least that is what the Turkish Hürriyet Daily News announces in a statement.

synagoge izmir 2A spokesman for the city administration said in an interview: “Izmir is the city of tolerant people. This project is a result of understanding and tolerance".

Izmir is certainly the most tolerant city in Turkey, but the question remains as to why the synagogue is not reopened as a synagogue. Why as a museum, which incidentally also applies to a large number of churches.

The statistician may calculate and argue according to need as to whether a building is needed as a synagogue or as a church; it has nothing to do with freedom of religion.

At least the historic building will be preserved.

The Torah, the Hebrew Bible, is "the book of books" for Jews

Written in Hebrew letters without vowels, it includes the five books of Moses with the 613 precepts (248 commandments and 365 prohibitions).

synagoge izmir 1The Hebrew term means doctrine, instruction, instruction, law.

The individual words and letters of the Torah are based on a complex but clearly structured system. That is why there is an unwritten law that when copying the Torah scroll no letter - even if it is written incorrectly, too small or too large - may be changed.

The text is written on handmade parchment made from the skin of pure animals. Goose quills and pure ink are used for writing. The Torah scroll is wound on two sticks. The wooden sticks are called the "Tree of Life".

A special ribbon of cloth is tied around the Torah scroll and then it is covered with a richly embroidered cloak to protect and decorate it.

The precious scroll must not be touched with bare hands. A silver staff serves as a reading aid, at the end of which is a small hand with an outstretched index finger.

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