One of the world’s oldest synagogues reopens in Egypt

CAIRO-Egypt has reopened one of the world’s oldest synagogues and home to the most significant single trove of Jewish manuscripts. The Ben Ezra synagogue was inaugurated by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Thursday after a decade of restoration work, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MOTA). Constructed in the 12th century, the synagogue was rebuilt in 1889 and restored previously in 1982. It was named after Abraham ibn Ezra, a Jewish figure who authored various biblical commentaries during the golden age of Spanish Judaism. The site has been visited by distinguished Jewish figures throughout history, including Moses Maimonides, one of the most influential Jewish philosophers. Maimonides lived close to the synagogue and worshipped there. The site of the synagogue is believed by some to be where the biblical prophet Moses prayed to God. The synagogue was also where the single most important selection of Jewish medieval manuscripts was found in the late 19th century.

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