Ben Ezra Synagogue


On December 11th we went to visit a Coptic area of Cairo. Here we saw the Hanging Church, Ben Ezra Synagogue, and St. George’s Nunnery. The Coptic Christianity is only found in Egypt. They are a very close unit of people. When we entered the Ben Ezra Synagogue we were not allowed to take pictures as we were in other parts of the Coptic village. The Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest Jewish synagogue. It has been fully restored and is no longer used for religious events, it is purely a tourist site. It was founded in 88 and rebuilt in 1892. According to tradition, it is located on the site where baby Moses was found.
In past history the building had a chance of being lost because of unpaid taxes. In 882 CE the land was purchased by Abraham ibn Ezra of Jerusalem. The inside of the synagogue is gorgeous. It design is of the basilica fashion. The synagogue is two stories: the ground level is used by the men and the upper area is designated for women. The main floor is divided into three varying parts. In the center is a marble desk which was used for Torah reading. The synagogue is decorated with geometric and floral patterns. The geometric and floral pattern style is Turkish. It would have been easy to bring the visual to life with pictures but due to preservation, photos are not allowed.

Posted at 9:25 AM by Jennifer Bohrer