Friday, January 23, 2009

The Jews of Lebanon...all 2 of them

I was surfing the web at work as I usually do, and I stumbled across a website for the Jews of Lebanon:

Talk about a nice website!! Also like the nice addition of Fairuz singing in the background.

I was reading the site and it seems as if there are solid plans to renovate the Maghan Avraham synagogue, which is the oldest synagogue in Beirut (built in 1925), and not to turn them into museums, but rather, for them to remain as functioning synagogues..should be very interesting.

See a very good article on NOW Lebanon from nearly a year ago about this synagogue: . It follows a sad story of an old Lebanese Jewish woman under the Alias of 'Liza" who just wants to be accepted as Lebanese.
Also, wiki has a good article on the synagogue here:

Apparently, Rafik Al Hariri had plans to renovate the synagogue and surround it with a garden before his assassination. Also, "In 1991, due to mass emigration of Lebanese Jews into foreign countries, only two Jews remained in Wadi Abu Jimail Street, and with a population of around sixty, the community more or less ceased to exist." I love how the article claims that precisely 2 Jews remained...haha..shows how small Lebanon is for you. Also, there's a bit on ancient Torah Scrolls that were sent from Lebanon to Geneva in 1976 for safe keeping, so check it out.

And, the lesser known Deir El Qamar synagogue built in the 17th century:

I really hope that these synagogues are restored and opened to the public. Unfortunately, there are so many within Lebanon that blindly hate Jews (and with Israel's incessant hostility and the facts that the vast majority have never met an actual Jew in their life this is somewhat [and i say that hesitantly] understandable) that i worry someone would try to prevent renovation or attempt to cause damage once/if renovation is complete..

But could you imagine what it would mean for Lebanon to have synagogues? I would imagine that it would be the only Arab country tolerant/modern enough to accept to have a synagogue, that is, of course, provided they do actually get restored...

One last link, check out a panoramic video of the synagogue here:



  1. LZ,
    Morroco has a few thousand jewish citizens and they have synagogues there, Bahrain has about 50 jewish citizens (one of whom is a member of parliment), and yemen has a small jewish community still there too.
    So no we would not be the first, we are not the most tolerant, and we are not the most modern.
    We just always think we are.

  2. Hi there
    i agree with anonymous, we are not the most tolerant and we are not the most modern. we always pretend that we are.
    can a lebanese jewish behave as per judaism in lebanon? sure no, he will pretend that he is a catholic because rare people will accept him mainly the fanatic DIVINE people will refuse him.

  3. And I'd like to add one more thing....we're not the only country with 18 different religions as we always like to claim and brag about every time we get a chance to....all kind of religions do exist everywhere in this world and in every country...but the difference is that in other countries people do respect each others believes and don't even ask what kind of god our the neighbor worship...very much unlike us who the 1st thing they want to know about any new acquaintance is from what religion he or she come from.....Petty this beautiful country with such self centered subjects.