ב"ה

The Hurva

The Hurva (Churvah: “Ruin”) was originally built by a community of 300 Polish families who arrived in Jerusalem in 1700.

They borrowed vast sums of money from their Arab neighbors in order to build the once magnificent edifice. Shortly after its construction, the community was devastated by an epidemic that also took the life of their leader Rabbi Yehudah HaChasid.

The Arabs, who had loaned the money 73 and were never repaid, destroyed the building by setting it on fire in 1721, and the ruins (churvah) became a fixture in the neighborhood for more than a century. Rebuilt in the late 1830s by chasidim who moved to Jerusalem from Safed after the great earthquake, it was again destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948.

A modern arch, built after 1967 to commemorate the synagogue that had been one of the two tallest buildings in the neighborhood, was one of the identifying landmarks of the Jewish Quarter for more than three decades.