By October 30, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Destruction of the Me’ara Synagogue in Jerusalem

hurvaThe Me’ara was the central synagogue of Jerusalem’s Jews. They clung to it for hundreds of years until the city fell into the hands of the Crusaders. The Crusaders destroyed the Jewish community in Jerusalem, ruined the synagogue, and sealed the gate.

The Crusaders transformed the large cavity created by this sealing wall into a water cistern. It is identified in scientific literature as cistern No. 30 out of a network of thirty-eight cisterns known to be on the Temple Mount. It is possible that the wall that today seals the gate dates from that time.

When the Moslems returned to Jerusalem after defeating the Crusader kingdom, conditions beside the Temple Mount gates changed. The Moslems decided, as described before, to alter the face of Jerusalem and create a link between the city and the Temple Mount. For that purpose, they built vaults, on top of which they built numerous public and religious buildings that abut the upper section of the Western Wall, thus covering its lower sections. The Me’ara remained sealed. From that time onward, Jews did not return to the passageway of the ancient gate, which had since become a water cistern.

Dan Bahat. Touching the Stones of Our Heritage. Western Wall Heritage Foundation, 2002. p.99.

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