Jobar synagogue, Syria’s oldest Jewish site and synagogue was looted and burned to the ground by either the Syrian army or rebel forces as the two year old civil war takes its toll on monuments, religious sites and other national heritage sites.

Jobar Synagogue’s first reference goes back to the Talmud where Rabbi Rafram ba Pappa prayed in Jobar Synagogue.The biggest significance is obviously that this was the location of the cave where the prophet Elijah used as a hideout, the cave where G-d revealed Himself to Elijah in a still small voice.

The synagogue located there was actually built by Elisha himself and in the first century ad restored by Eleazar ben Arach.

Other indications show that the anointing of Elisha Kinf of Hazael of Syria also took place in the synagogue.

Thoughout its history this lonely Synagogue was home to many Jews and was described by early Jews as a “beautiful synagogue situated outside the city”.

In 1864 Benjamin II described the synagogue having 13 marble pillars and inlaid with marble everywhere. Under the holy shrine was a grotto which Benjamin II described as the cave of Elisha.

Earlier in 1840 during the attack on the Jews of Damascus the synagogue was pillage and the scrolls of the Law were destroyed.

Jobar Synagogue was the holiest pilgrimage site for Jews in the entire Syria.

 

The blame of the destruction was shifted between Assad and the “rebels”.

The state of the building is now that it was entirely destroyed and burned to the ground.

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