Anti-Monument (4 Sephardi Synagogues Complex)


Like the Ramban Synagogue, the 4 Sephardic synagogues adjoining together in a little complex are huddled underground below street level in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. The peculiar subterranean location speaks to questions regarding hierarchy, religious difference, and the vagaries of place under Islamic rule. Destroyed by the Jordanians after the 1948 Israel War of Independence, the site has been lovingly restored and is open to the general public. There is nothing of the grand style to it. It’s like an anti-monument, but more decorative. Completely invisible on the skyline, it has a great modest charm.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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