Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Great Synagogue of Jerusalem

י"א לחודש בתשעי תשע"ד

Life In Israel posted this video of choir practice at The Great Synagogue in Jerusalem.

I have lived in Israel for 16 years, six of those in Jerusalem. I have never set foot in Jerusalem's Great Synagogue, nor do I have any intention of doing so.

Hmm...  Sounds a heck of a lot like church to me. The Viennese influence, I would imagine. Yet, I have nothing against these choir men, who are obviously very talented.

Check out the stained glass at the end. That pretty much sums it up,...but not entirely.

L: The Great Synagogue, Jerusalem (Photo: Ariel Horowitz) R: Rendering of the Second Temple

Sure, it is far from a perfect match. But, I believe it was built to remind us of the Beth HaMiqdash (Temple), and hopefully to pine for it. But, now that we had the Temple Mount, gave it up, gained access to it, but not really, the so-called "Great Synagogue" stands there on King George Street (Could we please that street's name already?), as if is to usurp the position and role of the Beth HaMiqdash (God forbid!).

Why do rich people throw money at this place of gaudy gloriousness, to hold a wedding there, or to have some huge, gaivadik (prideful) plaque with their names on it, when they could be putting some of that money toward education or legal aid funds for those Jews actually ascending and asserting their rights to pray there?

Let your legacy be in your deeds, not in your name engraved plaques. Let us start building the Beth HaMiqdash today. Let us bring the Qorban Pesah next spring, which does not even require its completion.

Check your church music at the door.


Ariel ben Yochanan said...

B"H - At least here the organ is an "improvised" electronic one. In Europe's largest synagogue in Budapest it is a permanently built in huge one.

Devorah Chayah said...

AMEN! ;-)

Caren May said...

Anytime that I visit in Israel and enjoy the tefillah and choir at the Great Synagogue. If it's not for you...that is fine! There are many Yiddin that find it inspiring.

Esser Agaroth said...


I certainly cannot argue with music preference, as this is an emotional response.

However, how about if you ask yourself these questions:

1) Why do you find it inspiring? Because it reminds you of the "old country?"

2) What is Am Yisrael doing to make the Miqdash a reality, so that we won't need Great Synagogues?

3) How much could we have achieved in this area, if we had taken that money and worked toward building the Miqdash, or perhaps used to convince/threaten/coerce Moshe Dayan not to have given up Har HaBayith, or something?

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