Chief Rabbi attends iftar fast-breaking meal held by Edirne Synagogue
EDİRNE – Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe newly renovated Grand Synagogue in the northwestern province of Edirne hosted a public fast-breaking iftar meal, attended by Turkish Jews’ Chief Rabbi Rav İsak Haleva, on the evening of June 9.
The meal was hosted as an expression of solidarity between Muslims and Jews in Turkey.
Haleva told journalists before the meal that he had prayed in the historic synagogue, which recently underwent a renovation by the Edirne Directorate General of Foundations and reopened for service.
“Praying in this gorgeous building is an indicator showing how peacefully the Jewish community lives in Turkey,” he said.
“When one comes here, one feels at peace and feels joy. People feel the remnants of the Ottoman Empire … The state gave the Jewish community a right and this temple is the evidence of this [right],” added Haleva, who is a native of Edirne.
Last month, a Jewish wedding ceremony of Güneş Mitrani, 30, and Harun Esentürk, 34 was held at the synagogue, the first such ceremony in 41 years.
Built for Sephardic Jews taking refuge in the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 15th century, the newly renovated synagogue is thought to be Europe’s biggest and the world’s third biggest synagogue.