Abraham Avinu Synagogue
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|Abraham Avinu Synagogue|
|Location||Jewish Quarter Hebron, West Bank|
The Abraham Avinu Synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת על שם אברהם אבינו) was built by Hakham Malkiel Ashkenazi in the Jewish Quarter of Hebron in 1540. The domed structure represented the physical center of the Jewish Quarter of Hebron, and became the spiritual center of the Jewish Community there and a major center for the study of Kabalah. It was restored in 1738 and enlarged in 1864.
In 1929, residents of the Jewish Quarter of Hebron were murdered and raped and their homes destroyed by Arab rioters during the 1929 Hebron massacre after incitement by Muslim clerics.
Jordan took control of the area in 1948, and after this time a wholesale market, trash dump and public toilet were placed on the site of the Jewish Quarter. A goat and donkey pen was placed on the ruins of the Synagogue.
When Israel won control over the West Bank after the Six Day War in 1967, a gradual return of Jews took place to the Jewish Quarter in Hebron. In 1976 the Israeli Government ordered evacuation of the animal pen, enabling the remnants of the synagogue to be uncovered, and the Synagogue was rebuilt.
Today, the rebuilt synagogue is used each Friday night by the Jewish residents of Hebron to hold prayer services. The synagogue is also open to visitors each day of the week so they can learn about the history of the synagogue, and hold private services.
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