IDF Soldiers Pray in Ancient Gaza Synagogue

Nov 9, 2023 7:29 pm | Ticker, Virtual Jerusalem

For the first time in nearly two decades, IDF soldiers have been praying in an ancient 6th-century synagogue in Gaza City.

Michael Freund, the founder of Shavei Israel and a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, announced on a social media platform, “For the first time in decades, Israeli soldiers prayed in the ancient synagogue in Gaza, which was built in the 6th century and where a beautiful mosaic floor depicting King David was unearthed years ago. Jews have returned to Gaza!!”

While there is evidence of soldiers having prayed at this historic site, stringent IDF regulations regarding the documentation of military operations have seemingly prevented any photographic evidence from being disseminated on social media platforms.

The synagogue in question was discovered in 1965 and is situated in the Rimal district of Gaza City, once known as Maiuma or El Mineh during the Byzantine period. Initially misidentified as a church by Egyptian archaeologists, the site was later confirmed to be a synagogue after the discovery of a significant mosaic. This mosaic, which is three meters high and 1.9 meters wide, features an image of King David playing a lyre and is inscribed in Hebrew, showcasing the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the period.