The paper label on the verso gives the date 1913 and the place of discovery as Jobar, a suburb of Damascus. The synagogue of Jobar dates back over 2,000 years and according to tradition was built in commemoration of the biblical prophet Elijah. Once the most important Jewish pilgrimage site in Syria, the synagogue has since been totally destroyed. This rare surviving artifact of the Jewish community at Jobar may be all that remains of this ancient and venerable community.
Literature: Threshold to the Sacred: The Ark Door of Cairo’s Ben Ezra Synagogue, an exhibition at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Maryland. A version of this exhibition is currently on display at Yeshiva University Museum in New York City.
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