Friday, May 01, 2009

Ezekiel’s Tomb Renovation

The traditional tomb of Ezekiel is being renovated by the Iraqi government. From the Jerusalem Post:

The Iraqi government has launched a project to renovate the interior of the prophet Ezekiel's shrine in the small town of Kifl, south of Baghdad, and the country's Ministry for Tourism and Antiquities says it hopes to eventually repair and renovate other Jewish sites across the country.

"The ministry is concerned with all Iraqi heritage, whether it is Christian or Jewish or from any other religion," ministry spokesman Abdelzahra al-Talaqani told AFP. "The present plans do not include the synagogues in Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Fallujah and other places because of lack of funding, but I think they will be included in future plans."

Iraqi Jewry was once one of the largest and most prominent Jewish communities in the Middle East.

But after Israel's establishment, more than 120,000 Iraqi Jews moved to Israel in the 1950s in a clandestine operation dubbed Operation Ezra and Nehemiah amid an outbreak of anti-Jewish violence.

Outside the shrine of the prophet - who followed Jews into the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BC - is a 14th-century brick minaret, while the inside is shaped like a synagogue, with old wooden arks that used to contain Torah scrolls and the remains of a Mehitza - a separation for men and women....

The tombs of the prophets Daniel, Ezra, Nahum and Jonah are also purported to be located in Iraq.

You can add this to your list of sites to visit on your next trip.

Ezekiel's Tomb, Kifel, Iraq, mat13265Traditional tomb of Ezekiel, exterior, 1932
Photo: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-matpc-13265

Ezekiel's Tomb interior, Kifel, Iraq, mat13271Traditional tomb of Ezekiel, interior, 1932
Photo: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-matpc-13271



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