Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jewish life in Egypt ends after 2,000 years

From The Point of No Return, Thursday, August 30, 2012:
The Eliyahu Hanavi (Nebi Daniel) synagogue
For the first time in 2,000 years, this year there will be no Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services at the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria.
The synagogue was the last 'working' synagogue in Egypt. A synagogue has stood on this site since Hellenistic times, although the current building dates back to the 19th century.
The Egyptian authorities have banned High Holiday services for 'security' reasons. The decision, announced on Monday, comes as a blow to Rabbi Avraham-Nino Dayan, an Israeli of Egyptian origin, who every year takes on the task of assembling a minyan (quorum) of volunteers from Israel and abroad.
There are only two Jewish men and some 20 Jewish widows living in Alexandria. Levana Zamir, who heads the International Association of Egyptian Jews in Israel, comments:
"It seems this is really the end of Jewish life in Egypt. The authorities have found a way to take over the last Jewish bastion, since all the remaining synagogues are already archaeological and tourist sites. It is very sad."
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