Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ahrida Synagogue

Although I’m looking forward to the entire trip from a traveler’s perspective, as a student I am interested in seeing the Ahrida Synagogue in Balat. The synagogue was founded in Constantinople, before the Ottoman conquest, by a group of Greek Jews.

One interesting thing about the synagogue is that is has been used by multiple rites of Judaism, as the Greek Jews were absorbed into Sephardic culture after the Sephardic Jews arrived from Spain. Religious philosophies often appear in architecture, so I will be interested in seeing if the old building matches the current beliefs.

I like seeing older synagogues, and especially foreign synagogues, because it really allows me to see how Judaism has changed through geography and time. I don’t have the same experience with churches or mosques, but I’ll be seeing many of both during this course, and I really can’t wait to be off!

1 comment:

  1. Michael, When we go to Laodicea you should help me find an inscription of a menorah on a column fragment. It is on the west side of the cardo (main street) near the nymphaeum. It is depicted with a shofar and a lulav and over the top of it is caved a Christian cross. I really want to see it, since I've read an article about it. The menorah inscription itself is not unusual, but some of its details are including the fact that it is depicted with flames and the shofar is angular. Also, it is one of the first pieces of evidence of a Jewish community at Laodicea. The superimposition of the Christian symbol is, of course, interesting to someone who studies ancient religions,

    So, help me remember to find this!