Without Security, There is No Peace Nati Shohat/FLASH90

Without Security, There is No Peace

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


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.…