Western Wall synagogue that opened on December 19..
(photo credit: WESTERN WALL HERITAGE FOUNDATION)
A remarkable new synagogue within the Western Wall tunnels complex that took 12 years to build was dedicated and opened on Monday night, following the traditional Hanukka candle-lighting ceremony in the Western Wall plaza.
The synagogue, which was funded by donations from the Delek Foundation and Delek Group owner Yitzhak Tshuva, is deep inside the complex, adjacent to the area above which the ancient Jewish temples stood on the Temple Mount, and the inner sanctum of the Holy of Holies in particular.
The subterranean synagogue has a dramatic feel to it, with low arched ceilings and walls of ancient stones on all sides, and a unique spherical, metal ark to house Torah scrolls.
The ark’s walls are formed from the words of the “Shema Yisrael” prayer and the Biblical Book of the Song of Songs cast in metal and running the entire circumference of the sphere, topped by a cast metal sculpture of the burning bush.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation said the synagogue “will be open to anyone who desires to study and connect” to it and that prayer arrangements will shortly be published.