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Ramchal Synagogue in Acco

The Jewish community of Acre had two synagogues from the 16th to 18th centuries, under Moslem rule: the Achav Synagogue and the Ramchal Synagogue.

The Achav Synagogue

There is a disagreement over which of the two synagogues was destroyed by Dahar el-Omar in approximately 1754. Most scholars believe that the Achav synagogue was the one that was destroyed. Many people believe that the Achav synagogue still exists underneath the mosque. Achav Synagogue

 

The Ramchal Synagogue

Ramchal Synagogue

The Ramchal Synagogue was named after Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, also known by the Hebrew acronym RaMCHaL. Ramchal was a prominent Italian Jewish rabbi, kabbalist, and philosopher who lived in Acre from 1743 to 1747. The Ramchal Synagogue was by far the larger and more elegant of the two and was one of the city’s most impressive buildings.  The Bedouin ruler of Acre, Dahar el-Omar, took over the synagogue in 1758 and built the el-Mualek Mosque on top of it. This name translates as ‘the suspended’, apparently in reference to its location on the ruins of the destroyed synagogue building.There is a claim, yet to validated by archaeologists, that the remnants of the original synagogue are still preserved beneath the mosque. The Jews were given a small building north of the el-Mualek Mosque at the end of Market Street. The synagogue has recently been restored and renovated  and is open to the public.  it is called “Ohel Chaim” after its famous benefactor, the nobleman Chaim Farchi although some believe it was named after Moshe CHAIM Luzzato. Chaim Farchi was an adviser to the Turkish Sultan, and led the resistance to the invasion of the French armies under Napoleon. Visits to the site may be arranged in advance through the Visitors Center by calling 04-6519813.

 

 


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