Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Ramban Synagogue (Hebrew: בית כנסת הרמב"ן‎) is the oldest active synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was founded by Nahmanides (Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman, whose name is often abbreviated as Ramban) in 1267. Today it is located at the corner of Ha-Yehudim Street and the square in the Jewish Quarter (the Rova).
Ramban Synagogue

13th century
In 1586, the synagogue was closed under the order of the Turkish governor of Jerusalem. Subsequently, the Sephardi community established their center in the adjacent place, where the academy belonging to the tanna Yochanan ben Zakai was said to have stood during the Second Temple period. Today the Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue stands there.

19th century
Over the years, the building has been the home to the Sephardi community, was converted into a mosque after being confiscated by a Mufti, and was used as a flour mill and a cheese factory. Today it is used by the Ashkenazi community.
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the building was destroyed by the Arab Legion. As a result of the 1967 Six-Day War, Jews regained their right to the property, and 700 years after the Ramban revived the ancient building, the synagogue was reopened.

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