The Last Worship Synagogue In Egypt Is Closed (at Least Temporarily)
Editor’s Note: TheBlaze’s Billy Hallowell contributed to this report.
News outlets across the Middle East are reporting that Egyptian authorities have closed down the last operating synagogue in Egypt — at least temporarily.
This year, Jews in Egypt will have no place to mark the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur. Daniel Greenfield of Frontpage Magazine claims the Egyptian government closed the remaining house of worship due to “security” issues. YNetNews has more:
The decision was delivered to Rabbi Avraham Dayan, an Israeli of Egyptian descent and the former rabbi of Alexandria, who every year organizes a quorum of volunteers from Israel and other countries to pray at the ancient synagogue on the High Holidays.
Rabbi Dayan told Ynet, “We are trying to organize a quorum, but because of the security-related situation we’re not really succeeding. We are still in touch with the Egyptian security organizations and are trying to make some progress…” [...]
According to the rabbi, the decision to prevent the quorum has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt. He said he had spoken to the leader of the Jewish community in Alexandria, who expressed his fear that worshippers would be targeted.
“Of course I’m disappointed,” said Rabbi Dayan. “Everything was ready, and now we’re forced to cancel. But we are preparing for any change, and if that happens – we’ll leave for the synagogue.”
There are synagogues in the country, but they are tourist attractions and archeological sites — not necessarily houses of actual worship. As this elimination of the last operating synagogue in Egypt is happening, TheBlaze is reporting that the U.S. government is close to a deal to forgive $1 billion dollars in loans to Egypt.
Why is this happening? The NY Times says, “it is intended to bolster [the country's] transition to democracy.” Apparently that “democracy” mentioned in the Times article does not allow Jews to worship as they see fit.
In the last four decades, the Jewish population in Egypt has dropped significantly. Where there were once tens of thousands of Jews, there are now reportedly fewer than twenty. How bad is it for Jews still living in Egypt?
This video report from three weeks again shows how difficult life has become for the handful of Jews still living in Cairo.
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