Getting the Proper Focus

Abuhav Synagogue The Abuhav Synagogue in Tzefas, Israel is one of the most beautiful shuls I’ve been in. It is ornately painted and was constructed along the theme of the Pesach song Echad Mi Yodea (Who Knows One?) .

On top of the bima where the shaliach tzibur (prayer leader) stands is a dome, with many paintings upon it. Directly in the sight of the shaliach tzibur is a painting with the title “Makom HaMikdash” (the site of the Holy Temple). The weird thing is that the painting does not depict the Beis HaMikdash at all. Rather, it depicts the mosque that currently sits on top of the temple mount. The explanation is that when the shaliach tzibur looks up he sees that, because of senseless hatred among the Jews, in the place of the Beis HaMikdash now stands a mosque. This should serve to focus the shaliach tzibur, who represents the entire kehillah (congregation), on an all-encompassing love for all Jews.

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