Peki'in Synagogue

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Peki'in Synagogue
A tall, white bricked, domed building against a blue sky.
Basic information
Location Peki'in
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
Year consecrated 1873

The Peki’in Synagogue (Hebrew: בית הכנסת העתיק בפקיעין), located in the centre of Peki'in, Northern Israel, is said to have built into its walls two stones taken from the walls of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The current structure dates from 1873 and is said to have been built on a site of an ancient synagogue dating from the era of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, around the 3rd-4th century CE.

Stone tablet found at the synagogue.

Funding for the construction, attested to on a plaque commemorating the donation, was given by a Jew named Rafael Halevy from Beirut. According to local tradition the synagogue was built on the site of the Beth midrash of Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah who lived during the 2nd century .

In 1926 and 1930 two old stone tablets dating from the Second Temple period were uncovered at the synagogue. One depicts a menorah, shofar and lulav and the second depicts a gateway with columns on each side, probably symbolising the gateway to the Holy of Holies.

In 1955 the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs renovated the building at the request of president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi who had visited the Jewish community of Peki’in in 1922 and documented it in his book Shaar Yashuv.[1] To this end the 100 NIS banknote which features Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, also features the Peki’in synagogue on the reverse side. [2]

The synagogue is locked but can be visited with prior coordination with Margalit Zinati, who lives opposite the building. Margalit Zinati is a member of an ancient Jewish family who have lived for centuries in Peki’in, reputedly since the time of the Second Temple 2,000 years ago. [3]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 32°58′39″N 35°20′08″E / 32.977499°N 35.335564°E / 32.977499; 35.335564