Synagogue Maghen Abraham, Beirut

1.8
#14 of 17 in Historic Sites in Beirut
The Maghen Abraham Synagogue is one of the main synagogues in Lebanon.
Located in the Jewish district of Wadi Abu Jamil in Beirut, the synagogue was destroyed during the Lebanese Civil War. Restoration of the synagogue began in May 2009. In August 2010, renovations were nearing completion, with finishing touches being made to the interior of the building.
In 2014, a Muslim lawyer who handles the affairs of Jews in Beirut said there are only two rabbis to lead the synagogue and denied reports that the synagogue would be reopened.
An older synagogue in Beirut was demolished in 502 by a great earthquake which destroyed several cities in Lebanon.Maghen Abraham was constructed in 1925 and named after the son of Abraham Sassoon, Moise Abraham Sassoon of Calcutta, on land donated by Isaac Mann. It was designed by the architect Bindo Manham and construction was overseen by Ezra Benjamin and Joseph Balayla." Because of insufficient funding, the head of the Jewish community, Josef Farhi, helped in completing the interior. The synagogue was also used for Torah and scientific lectures, weddings and other festive events.
In the 1950s and 1960s there were sixteen synagogues in Beirut and they were all full, according to a Lebanese expatriate who moved from Beirut to Paris in 2003. Jews were entitled to the same rights as other minorities and the number of Jews was increasing even after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, by which time there were about 14,000 Jews in Lebanon. Even during the PLO's control of the area in the 1975-6 conflict guards were placed on the synagogue for its protection. In 1976, a year after the civil war began, Joseph Farhi transferred the Torah scrolls from the synagogue to Geneva and entrusted to renowned Jewish-Lebanese banker Edmond Safra, who preserved them in his bank's coffers. Most of them have since been relocated to Sephardic synagogues in Israel.
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  • Tried to see but several military checkpoints set up and soldiers insisted the entire area was closed off for security reasons and would not allow access. Their smug look suggested they may have just ...  more »
  • All roads that lead to it are closed for security reasons. I do not know who really live in this neighbourhood but i hope he will move soon to the mountains and let us visit the place!!  more »
  • The synagogue "can't help it"! We had visited they like, just because here (so far and not always entirely) all religions live side by side and keep their houses of worship... but the soldiers guarding and rigorously streets, blocks, block here because Parliament in the Is close, but I consider this to be an excuse. What a pity! This is a info, to avoid unnecessary searching, and paths. Hopefully that will change once again.
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