06 April 2020, 17:40
Oldest synagogue in Russia celebrates its 140th anniversary
Moscow, April 6, Interfax - In danger of spreading coronavirus synagogue in Irkutsk, the oldest acting synagogue in Russia, celebrated its 140th anniversary without parishioners and festival ceremonies.
"Unfortunately, we don't have festival celebrations, but we will fix a new mezuza (a piece of parchment with specific Hebrew verses fixed to the doorpost at the entrance - IF)," Chief Rabbi of Irkutsk Region Aaron Vagner said at the synagogue entrance last Sunday.
Acting Governor of the Irkutsk Region Igor Kobzev took part in the ceremony together with the rabbi. The regional official said that "our turn for a festival will come", thanked citizens of Irkutsk for discipline during the quarantine and wished them patience.
The synagogue in Irkutsk was built in 1882 on donations of its parishioners. It was closed for the believers from 1924 to 1981.
The building survived several fires, the last of them took place in 2004. It took architects four years to restore the synagogue, but they managed to rebuild its original facades. Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar came to open the synagogues after that restoration, then he also fixed a mezuza to the doorpost.
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