Saturday, December 30, 2017

The ruins of the Khokha Synagogue in Egypt

A CALL FOR RESTORATION: Fallen from Grace: Rabbi Hayyim El-Imshati Synagogue (Samar Samir, Egypt Today).
CAIRO - 30 December 2017: Walking in through the two-meter-wide entrance, you will find in the semi-demolished ramshackle and stumble across a big cement block and a corridor leading to a rickety staircase leading to the second floor, which is now collapsed and filled with an acrid smell. A few hundreds years ago, this place was a Fatimid-Caliphate era synagogue filled with supplicating people; now it is left to turn in to ruins.

Around 150 kilometers away from Cairo, at the Mahala Al Kobra’s Souk al-Labn in the Delta, stands the ruins of Rabbi Hayyim El-Imshati Synagogue.

The synagogue is also known as Synagogue of Khokhet El Yahoud, Ostad Synagogue and Rabbi El-Imshati Synagogue. The history of Khokha makes it a good candidate to be part of the Ministry of Antiquities’ future plan of developing and restoring the Egyptian Jewish heritage. The ministry has started on a big project to restore Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, and has also registered Alexandria’s Menasce Synagogue as an antiquity, giving it further protection and potential restoration privileges.

Khokha Synagogue, however, is unregistered as an antiquity, an obstacle that stands in its way to restoration or being preserved.

This synagogue was founded in the eleventh century so it is not precisely ancient. But it is very old. It deserves some attention, so I am giving it some here. I hope it makes it onto the restoration list.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.