Synagogue of the Ghriba, Errriadh, Tunisia
The El Ghriba synagogue is located in the formerly Jewish village of Harah Sghira, also known as Harah Srira on the Island of Djerba, Tunisia. It is the most famous and venerated of the twenty synagogues and prayer houses that used to function in the three Jewish villages on Djerba at the height of the Jewish community in the early 1950’s.
In Harah Srira alone there are five additional prayer houses, called yeshivot, however, the Torah scrolls have been kept exclusively in El Ghriba, following a decision taken by the local rabbis at the end of the 19th century in order to maintain the prominence of the El Ghriba synagogue.
The entire community of Harah Srira meets in El Ghriba on Shabbat, the synagogue being kept in high regard by all the Jews of Djerba. The name “El Ghriba” means “the marvelous”, or “the strange”, in Arabic, and reflects the special status of the synagogue in the traditions of the Jews of Tunisia.
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