שבת ט' בכסלו תשפ"ג 03/12/2022
Search
  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

    Read More...

בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

    Read More...

Place

  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

    Read More...

Join Our Mailing List!

Please add a Valid Email Address
Join
Thanks!

In Jewish Sites

The Tunisian Synagogue in Acco

The Tunisian Synagogue in Acco is unique in its kind. Its uniqueness lies in its exceptional mosaic art which decorates its interior walls as well as a part of its floor and roof. The synagogue additionally has over one hundred stained glass windows.

Mordechai Zeevi 04/05/2009 12:00
The coastal city of Acco is located in the north of the country, on the shore off the Mediterranean Sea. Acco is the most ancient coastal city and has seen many ordeals and battles throughout the years. Acco is referred to in Judges as one of the places where the Children of Israel did not expel the Canaanites. The history of Acco includes many great Rabbis who resided there, among them several of the Tosafot composers, like Rabbi Shimshon of Shanz, Rabbi Yehonatan of Loniel and Rabbi Yechiel of Paris, who was the Rosh Yeshiva of the local Yeshiva. After his passing, the Ramban (Nachmanides) took over the position as Rosh Yeshiva. There are over one hundred synagogues scattered around the city, many of them very ancient, however the most special synagogue is definitely the Tunisian Synagogue "Ohr Torah".

"Ohr Torah" is located next to the local court, and occupies an ancient four-story building which is over thousands years old. The building served as a community center during the establishment of the state and later, in 5714, it was allocated to the Tunisian community where they established their synagogue.

When the building began to function as a synagogue, its manager, Zion Badash, decorated the synagogue with spectacular mosaic art. The first floor of the building serves as a Beit Midrash where prayers and learning is conducted during the weekdays, while the actual synagogue occupies the second floor, where prayers are conducted on Sabbaths and Holidays as well as on special occasions, such as a Brit. The women's section is situated on the third floor, and at the top of the stairs that ascend to the roof, a large space is covered with mosaic art in remembrance of the Holocaust. There are eleven mosaic works throughout the building that commemorate the Holocaust.

The synagogue has three entrances, symbolizing the three patriarchs, and seven Holy Arks, representing the Seven Gates of Heaven. Furthermore, the synagogue is almost entirely decorated with breathtaking mosaic works on its floor, walls and ceiling. The beautiful works display Jewish coins from the time of the Temple and the Bar Kochva Revolt until our times, the Seven Species, the Holy Temple and its vessels and the gates of Jerusalem. Additionally, the prayer of Pittum Haketoret is written within a mosaic work, while another describes the exile in Egypt and the forced labor of our forefathers. The dream of Jacob, the flags of the twelve tribes and their blessings are all displayed in various mosaic works as well. The exceptional mosaic works are made of colorful stones that were collected throughout the country, from Eilat in the south to the Golan Heights in the north. The colors of the stones are genuine and real; not one stone was artificially colored.

Aside from the extraordinary mosaic art displayed in the synagogue, the synagogue is decorated with 140 stained glass windows where major Jewish historic events and stories from the Bible are presented.

The synagogue is constantly active and offers services and lectures which draw countless people who carefully step on the decorated floor, lest the beautiful mosaic art be ruined. At times, the visitors cannot discern the end of the floor and the beginning of the wall, as it is all continuously decorated with mosaic works.

The synagogue manager relates that in the beginning, only one mosaic work was ordered to decorate the synagogue; however, as it arrived so did the desire for more. That is how the whole synagogue eventually became one large, fascinating piece of mosaic art.