Tribute to the Jews of Rome: 'A Light unto the Nations'

Rome's electric company initiates project to illuminate dome of the city's magnificent Great Synagogue.

Tags: Rome
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

תמונה מהאויר של בית הכנסת הגדול ברומא, לאחר תוספת התאורה
תמונה מהאויר של בית הכנסת הגדול ברומא, לאחר תוספת התאורה
צילום: אהרון וינצי פינוטה

In a special gesture to the local Jewish community, the electric company of Rome initiated a project to illuminate the dome of the Great Synagogue of Rome.

Hundreds of members of Romes Jewish community watched from a nearby roof as the dome was lit up in a special ceremony last Saturday night.

Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome and Vice President of the Conference of European Rabbis, csaid that this is a wonderful project that has important motifs and positive messages in terms of the attitude toward Jewish institutions and the Jewish community.

The structure of the Great Synagogue in Rome, one of the most spectacular in the world's synagogues, is built in a very special style on the banks of the Tiber River and can be seen from all parts of the city. This dome was made of aluminum and shone in the sunlight. During the Second World War, the aluminum was removed due to the danger of explosions and the need for metal.

The main hall of the magnificent synagogue rises to a height of tens of meters and is used for prayer according to the custom of the Jews of Italy, which date to the period when the Temple stood in Jerusalem. The building also houses a Sephardic minyan (Jewish prayer service), the Chief Rabbi's Office, and the Jewish Museum of Rome, which contains ancient and impressive artifacts.

The synagogue has had tight security since a terrorist attack in 1982, when terrorists from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) attacked worshipers at the end of prayer services. One toddler was killed and dozens of people were wounded in the attack.