Every Tisha B’Av, rabbis around the world try to come up with new and creative ways to remind their congregations of the history of the two Holy Temples that once stood in Jerusalem. Students of Jewish history readily recall 586 B.C.E. as the year that the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple, and 70 C.E. as the one in which the Romans destroyed the Second.
Many, however, are a bit foggier on 722 B.C.E., when the Assyrians conquered the northern Kingdom of Israel and sent its inhabitants into exile, eventually to become known to us as the Ten Lost Tribes. Soon Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York’s Congregation Beit Simchat Torah will need only point to the walls of her synagogue’s new building to jog people’s memories.
The New York Times reported that the LGBT synagogue has ended 40 years of wandering in the Manhattan real estate desert by purchasing two adjacent storefront condominium units at 130 West 30th St. In a stroke of fortune, the 1929 landmark building designed by Cass Gilbert boasts an array of Assyrian mirror-image bas reliefs and sculptures.
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