By August 28, 2017 Read More →

1267 Synagogues – Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman / Ramban / Nahmanides

Ramban Synagogue“Nahmanides, the renowned Jewish scholar from Gerona in Spain, Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman, better known as the Ramban or as Nahmanides found a minute and impoverished community in a desolated Jerusalem. Though Jerusalem was now a ravaged city, the few Jews who lived there enjoyed freedom of worship, and Rabbi Moshe remained to revive the congregation, reconstructing a synagogue and a centre of Talmudic study.

Nahmanides wrote in a letter to his sons:

we have sent to the city of Shechem to bring back from there the Torah Scrolls which were in Jerusalem and which were taken there when the vandals came, and now they will be placed in our synagogue and there we shall pray…’

The synagogue bore the name of the Ramban ever since. Praying there was not only members of the local congregation but also numerous Jewish pilgrims, for whenever there was a lull in the fighting and movement was possible, there was a resumption of pilgrimage. The Ramban records in a letter to his son:

‘many (e.g.) pilgrims come to Jerusalem, men and women from Damascus’ – (and other parts of the Diaspora) – ‘to see the place of the Temple and to mourn over its destruction. And he who has been privileged to see Jerusalem in its ruin will be privileged to see it restored to its glory…’

The Ramban’s own pilgrimage, wrote one of his disciples, did much to stimulate futher Jewish pilgrimage and settlement in the years that followed. ”

Source: Kollek, Teddy; Pearlman, Moshe. Pilgrims to the Holy Land: The story of Pilgrimage Through the  Ages. p126 and 129.

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