Outstanding monuments of Judaism around the world
- Cave of the Patriarchs – Palestine, Hebron. A system of rock cut passages under Hebron’s old city, below Herodian structure. World’s most ancient Jewish site. According to the legends here are buried the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of the Jewish people – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.
- David’s Tomb – Palestine, Jerusalem. Purported burial site of David, King of Israel. Located in the ground floor of former church, below Cenacle.
- Golden Gate – Palestine, Jerusalem. A site of legends, where, according to Jewish tradition, Messiah will enter Jerusalem. First city gate was built here several centuries BC, present one – sometimes around 520 AD. Gates were sealed in 1541 by Suleiman the Magnificent and a Muslim cemetery was built in front of it – reportedly, to prevent Messiah from coming.
- Temple Mount – Palestine, Western Bank, Jerusalem. A sacred site of huge importance for many millenia. This has been sacred site for Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Roman paganism. According to Judaism some aspect of Divine Presence is present here. On the mount is built Al Aqsa Mosque – third most sacred site for Muslims and Dome of the Rock withe Foundation Stone (the most important site for Judaists), as well as several more valuable structures. Also – one of the most contested religious sites in the world, especially between Judaists and Muslims. Here started the development of Jerusalem in the 4th millenium BC. Under the Temple Mount is a maze of underground passages.
- Western Wall (Wailing Wall) – Palestine, Western Bank, Jerusalem. Important Jewish religious site – the only remaining part of Second Temple constructed around 19 BC. Throughout the history this has been important site also for politics of Near East due to different events related to access of Jews to this wall.
- Tomb of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi – Palestine, Jerusalem. Rock cut tombs – catacombs, where the last Hebrew Bible prophets might be buried. Created around the 1st century BC. In the cliff are hewn two concentric passages with 38 burial niches.
- Beit El Synagogue – Palestine, Jerusalem. Important centre for the kabbalistic studies, established in 1737.
- El Ghriba synagogue – Tunisia, Djerba. One of oldest synagogues in world. It houses the oldest Sefer Torah – handwritten Torah.
- Old New Synagogue – Czech Republic, Prague. Oldest active synagogue in Europe, built in 1270 as one of first Gothic style buildings in city. Linked to legends about Golem.
- Santa María la Blanca – Spain, Toledo. Oldest standing synagogue building in Europe, although not used as synagogue. Built in 1180 in ornate Moorish style.
Described monuments of Judaism
Judaism is one of the oldest active religions in world – it is considered to be more than 3000 years old. This religion originated in Israel and Judea and Judaists believe that God revealed his laws and commandments to Jewish religious leader Moses. These revelations are called Torah – and were presented by God in written (Torah) and oral form (Talmud).
Judaism is religion which identifies also nationality – person converting to Judaism is considederd to be a Jew.
In Judaism the concept of the house of prayer differs from most other religions. Jews consider that their true temple is the almost totally destroyed Temple (Palestine, West Bank, Jerusalem). Nowadays only the giant Western Wall (Wailing Wall) remains of it.
Other Jewish houses of prayer – synagogues – are built for gatherings, prayer and education and are not considered to be temples. Thus synagogues are adjusted to local styles of architecture of different countries of the world.
Many synagogues around the world serve as fascinating monuments to the rich history of Jews – such as El Ghriba Synagogue (Tunisia, Djerba) or legendary Old New Synagogue (Czech Republic, Prague).
In Judaism, by Israel Abrahams, the writer has attempted in this Jewish history text to take up a few of the most characteristic points in Jewish doctrine and Jewish practice, and to explain some of the various phases through which they have passed, since the first centuries of the Christian era.