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travel to Temple Ben Ezra in cairo

  • 05 16, 2023

 What is Ben Ezra Synagogue?

 

It is one of the most popular Egyptian Jewish temples in the area of Old Cairo, especially in Coptic Cairo near the downtown. The Synagogue has been restored and renovated several times by the Egyptian government and the Monastery of Tourism and Antiques. It's one of the most attractive Cairo Day Tours to Egyptian and non-Egyptian tourists from around the world. 

 

Ben Ezra Synagogue Treasure 

The synagogue has a very distinctive quality, It’s Agenzia which are the documents that represent the Jewish communities and life in Egypt. This treasure of hundred years of documents more than 850 years old, now is housed in several libraries around the world and known as Cairo Genzia. The synagogue is an essential part of Coptic Cairo formation and one of the best things to do while being in Egypt. 

 

What is Ben Ezra Synagogue?

The word Synagogue means in Greek language a place for prayers and gatherings to receive religious teaching and worshiping. The location of the synagogue is very near to the Hanging church of the Virgin Mary and the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo, It’s also near the sources of water as it's believed that it’s the place where the box of Moses the prophet was found by the daughter of Pharaoh. 

 

The reason behind the name of Ben Ezra Synagogue?

Some scholars believe that the synagogue was a Coptic church first, and it was sold to the Jews by the patriarch in 882 to collect money and gold imposed by Ahmed Ibn Tulun. The synagogue had been sold to Ben Ezra the Jewish religious scholar and philosopher, it turned into be Jewish worship palace where the prayers were held and religious lectures. Therefore, the visit of the Ben Ezra Synagogue is the most attractive besides the enchanting trip of Egypt Nile cruise tours during visiting Egypt.

 

Ben Ezra's interior design 

The current building dates to 1892 after its original collapse, the Synagogue was exposed to many restorations. The shape of Synagogue is a rectangle shape, It is divided into 2 floors for men and women. It has a basilica style, and distinctive with wooden decorations and wooden doors. During the renovations works of the 19th century, there were Hebrew manuscripts that had been found in the treasury of the synagogue. 

 

The Egyptian tradition was preserving the places of prayers and worshiping as the pharaohs preserved their temples in the city of Luxor and Aswan city, this helped in preserving the historical documents that relate to the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Cairo Top Tours team allows you to enjoy an unforgettable experience while being in Egypt to discover the secrets of history. 

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Egypt Tours FAQ

Read top Egypt tours FAQs

The Ben Ezra Synagogue is situated in the Fustat region of Old Cairo, Egypt. It is a Jewish place of worship. Originally a Coptic church, it was sold to the Jewish community in 882 AD. Subsequently, the synagogue was destroyed and reconstructed between 1025 and 1040, specifically during the Fatimid era.

 

The Ben Ezra synagogue is a special place that is connected to a smart person from a long time ago named Moses Maimonides. In the 1800s, people found a big collection of old papers there that tell us a lot about what life was like for Jewish people in the past. It's like finding a hidden treasure!

The Coptic Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while most religious sites are open in the mornings for mass and during select afternoons for tours.

Ben Ezra Synagogue features a blend of architectural styles, including Islamic, Coptic, and Jewish influences. Visitors can explore the synagogue's interior, which includes a prayer hall, Torah ark, and a geniza (storeroom) where sacred texts and documents were stored.

Yes, Egypt boasts numerous luxurious resorts and health spas offering relaxation services and various treatments.

Originally a Christian church, the Synagogue was purchased by Abraham Ibn Ezra of Jerusalem in 882 for 20,000 dinars when the annual taxes levied by the Muslim rulers during the reign of Ahmed Ibn Tulun increased. From that point on, the church became a Jewish synagogue.


 

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