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Ben Ezra's Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt


Ben Ezra's Temple (Synagogue)


Ben Ezra's Temple, lying at the end point of church buildings , is reported to have been erected in the 6th or presumably the 9th Century AD. The temple site and the surrounding grounds, originally a property of the church, was acquired by the Jews in return for "kantars of gold". The basilica-style temple contains a Jewish heritage library, that was inaugurated on November 25,1997.

Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt

In 1896, a collection of documents known as "Jineesah" were found in the temple. The document, written mostly in what was called "Hebrew Arabic", a variation of Arabic in Hebrew alphabet, exclusively used by Jews in the Middle Ages, reflected political, economic and social conditions of Jews under the Arab rule of Egypt as well as sectarial organizations and relations between different Jewish sects.

The said documents contained a number of rare manuscripts of interpretations of the Old Testament, excerpts of linguistic research on Hebrew as well as documents explaining how Jews dealt with the Arab Muslim authorities.

These documents, first compiled during the Fatimid era, were earlier within in Aramaic but were later written in Arabic, the official language in government departments (diwans).

At the back of the temple, there is a very deep well, where the coffers in which Prophet Moses as an infant was placed by his mother, was reportedly found.


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