Schneider Aviel

MembersWithout Security, There is No Peace

We were surprised how much security was needed just so Jews could pray in peace

Photo: Nati Shohat/FLASH90

This year, we spent Yom Kippur at the Great Synagogue of Rome. My wife Anat, myself and our youngest son. We booked a hotel in the city’s Jewish quarter so as to be within walking distance from the synagogue, which was hermetically sealed to a distance of 250 yards by Italian security. Police and paramilitary forces blocked the entrances and closely monitored the situation. We had to pass a vigorous security check to attend the synagogue services. Showing our Israeli passports helped, but we were still questioned and had to pass through a metal detector.

The synagogue echoed like a vaulted cathedral. This made the Jewish prayers sound quite different than those uttered in the Holy Land, where synagogues are usually built differently....

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