Mondoweiss, February 20, 2017

(Photo: Yakov Rabkin)


There are no guards at the entrances to synagogues and Jewish institutions, just as it used to be when I first came to know Jewish venues in Montreal, Baltimore and Paris.

[...] Nearby stands a spacious building of the main synagogue, which also houses a Jewish school, a kolel and a kosher restaurant. The door was wide open, and I saw congregants were getting ready for the afternoon services. There was a portrait of Hofetz Haim prominently displayed at the entrance, and a few phrases from his book against bad mouthing. But a local friend took me across the street to a smaller synagogue, the floor of which was entirely covered with carpets. This is the custom of almost all of the synagogues I saw in Iran. After taking off shoes we were seated in a place of honor, and the prayers began.