Here are some photos that I took more than four years ago on Erev Shabbos Parshas Terumah, when I was in Germany with my dad. I didn’t remember until I saw these photos recently that I had gone into a synagogue earlier than last year. It’s right next to where Rashi studied.
The Wikipedia history is like this.
The first synagogue at the site was built in 1034 and is therefore regarded as the oldest existing synagogue in Germany. The building was first destroyed during the First Crusade in 1096 and subsequently rebuilt in 1175 in the Romanesque style. In 1186 southwest of the synagogue a subterranean mikveh was constructed.
During the pogroms of 1349 and 1615 the synagogue was badly damaged: in both pogroms the vaulted ceilings and the walls were heavily damaged. During reconstruction after 1355 Gothic forms for the window and the vault were chosen. Of comparable seriousness was the damage after the fire of 1689 during the Nine Years’ War. When the building was restored in 1700, the interior was renovated in period style.
On Kristallnacht in 1938 the synagogue was once again attacked and reduced to rubble. It was painstakingly reconstructed in 1961, using as many of the original stones that could be salvaged. The synagogue, open as a museum, continues to be a functioning synagogue used by the Jewish community.
In May 2010, the synagogue was firebombed by arsonists, suspected to be anti-Zionists. The firebombs were thrown against eight corners of the stone building and against a window, but no one was injured and no serious damage to the building was reported.
I’m thankful for the chance to have gone there.
And Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.” Shall a woman forget her sucking child, from having mercy on the child of her womb? These too shall forget, but I will not forget you.
…Your children of whom you were bereaved shall yet say in your ears, “The place is too narrow for me; move over for me so that I will dwell.” And you shall say to yourself, “Who begot these for me, seeing that I am bereaved and solitary, exiled and rejected, and who raised these? Behold I was left alone; these-[from] where are they?”