Beit Hillel (Beit İllel) Synagogue

Konak / İzmir

Beit Hillel (Beit İllel) Synagogue

You are in the home of the Palachi family, the Beit Hillel Synagogue, which was established as a religious academy in the first quarter of the 19th century.

Rabbi Hayim Palaçi (1788-1869) and his son Rabbi Avraham Palaçi (1809-1899) are the most important religious scholars of the 19th century Izmir Jewish Community. So much so that even Jewish religious scholars of Europe and the Middle East came to Izmir to consult them.

Hayyim Palaçi received the title of religious judge at the age of 40 and became the Chief Rabbi in 1865. In 1861, he was awarded by Sultan Abdülmecit with the 'cleric responsible for justice' medal. 26 of the 72 books he has written have also been published. These works he wrote at the Beit Hillel Synagogue are still used as textbooks in religious schools around the world.

Beit Hillel Synagogue is called Hayyim Palachi's grave in Gürçeşme Cemetery and the mikveh * Diamond Triangle next to the tomb. The Diamond Triangle is believed to be sacred places that must be visited.

Beit Hillel Synagogue was completely destroyed during a fire in 2006. After it was restored by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality in 2015, it was organized as Rav Hayim Palaçi Memorial House.

The history of the synagogue, the biography of Hayyim Palaçi and photographs of the synagogue, Hayim Palaçi and his family are exhibited in the memorial house. A small-scale Palachi Collection about the life of Rav Hayyim Palachi was created with the documents obtained from many sources such as the Ottoman Archive, the Jerusalem Jewish Historical Center Archive, the Izmir Jewish Community Archive. A book on display here at the start of the year ended in the establishment phase of the National Struggle and the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Pasha, the Jews of Izmir and sheds light on the commitment of the Republic.

* Purification pool. It is believed that the juice of mikveh is sacred.

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