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Wooden Synagogue “Baal Shem Tov” in Piatra Neamt

23 February 2015 No Comment

IMG_5003_resizeUnique in Europe these days, Synagogue Cathedral   Baal Shem Tov , built in 1763, is one of the most important heritage buildings in Piatra Neamt. Local legend says that Rabbi Eliezer ben Israel, known as the Baal Shem Tov (1698 – 1760), founder of Hasidism, retired in Ceahlău mountains, and on the sabbath day he descends to pray in the synagogue. New researches made ​​during renovations in 2007-2009 found that is built on the site of an ancient stone synagogue dating from the sixteenth century. The ship rectangular shape and joining techniques of the thick fir beams used, shows that at the construction have attended craftsmen who raised the wooden churches on Bistrita Valley. Among the vestiges of worship kept inside the synagogue, exhibited in the museum organized in the former balcony of women, is a curtain with embroidered inscriptions from 1767, The Holy Urn carved in massive wood dating from 1835, Torah scrolls, ritual vessels, prayer books and ritual objects.

Baal Shem Tov Synagogue is the only synagogue in Eastern Europe of which the wooden architecture is kept intact and the activity of worship was conducted continuously, although the Jewish community in the area ranged as size. Today, the synagogue is where are organized the cultural activities linked to the history of Jews from Piatra Neamt and throughout Romania (exhibitions, symposiums, movie nights, book launches), cultural and historical evocation helping to keep the nation and religious identity.

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