Jerusalem is an integral part of Judaism. A trip following Judaism in Jerusalem is fun, enriching, and very meaningful, so it is not by chance that such trips have become one of the most engaging activities in the city. The Jaffa Gate and the Hurva Synagogue, as well as the road between them – the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, are sites of religious and historical significance, highly recommended – and you will immediately understand why:)
The Hurva Synagogue
The Hurva Synagogue, also known as the ‘Ruin of Rabbi Yehuda Chassid,’ is located in the center of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Until the middle of the British Mandate, it also served as the center of the Ashkenazi community in the city – and was central and vital in its significance for the community and not just because of its location. Its name, the ‘Ruin,’ also tells its story: it was built in the early 18th century by a group of immigrants led by Rabbi Yehuda the Chassid, destroyed and rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century by the disciples of the Gra and destroyed again during the War of Independence. For the third time in the early 2000s, archeological excavations at the site were found from the Second Temple and Byzantine periods.
The ruined synagogue has become one of the Old City of Jerusalem; its reconstruction throughout history testifies to the love of the city and adherence to the purpose. The temple is one of the most magnificent in the Jewish Quarter, and the tallest ark in the world is inside. The synagogue is active and open to visitors and even holds ceremonies such as Aliyah to Torah, Shabbat Chatan, and more. From the balcony of the temple, an impressive panoramic view of the old Jerusalem city, and of course, the sanctity of the place and its meaning make every visit to it a unique and exciting experience.
How to get there?
The Hurva Synagogue can be reached from the Jerusalem-Yitzhak Navon station with line 1, the red line of the light rail to the Jaffa Municipality station(Hairiya-Jaffa), and from there, a short walk to the Jaffa Gate, an essential part of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. From the Jaffa Gate, proceed to Omar al-Khattab Street and from there to David Street. You can turn right on the historic Cardo Street, which we will expand on later, walk through it, turn right at the next turn, and reach the Synagogue directly.
By bus, you can get from Jerusalem Central Station to Keren Hayesod / Shalom Aleichem station with lines 74, 75, and 18 of Egged; from there, change buses and continue with a short ride on line 38 coming to the Jewish Quarter, to the Kishla / Armenian Patriarchate station ‘Near David Street.
A short tour following Judaism in Jerusalem
The Cardo street is a few minutes’ walks from the Hurva Synagogue to the north, between Chabad Street and HaYehudim Street, is on your way to the Synagogue if you come on foot from the Jaffa Gate. The word Cardo is derived from Latin, as the cross-city streets from north to south The earliest construction of the road for the Roman period. The Cardo is a unique street, 22.5 meters wide, with stone pillars and paved stone slabs that have been preserved and renovated. In a fascinating project of the “Society for the Restoration and Development of the Jewish Quarter,” the Cardo is decorated with mosaics, prepared by the best artists to tell the city’s story of old Jerusalem.
The Old Town Yard Museum(Hazer Hayishuv) is about a 3-minute walk from the Hurva Synagogue to the west. The museum building is an ancient house – about 500 years old! The people of the old settlement had a fascinating lifestyle and a unique way of life. The findings on display in the permanent exhibitions, as well as the museum’s many rotating exhibits, tell the variety of stories of the people of the old settlement, their belief in the Creator, contentment with a little, great joys as well as challenging moments, along with small moments that characterized Jerusalem’s daily routine in those days. Also, the museum has activities for children and families.
You can continue the walk on foot from the Hurva Synagogue to the Western Wall, through the picturesque alleys of the Jewish Quarter.