A day long prayer vigil last month by hundreds of Syrian Jews at the ancient synagogue of Jorbar near Damascus, caused the Syrian authorities to delay their planned take over of the shrine which marks the site where Elijah anointed Elisha to succeed him as Prophet, it was reported today by Abraham Dwek, president of the Committee for the Rescue of Syrian Jewry.
Dwek informed the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Syrian Ministry of Education, which plans to enlarge its compound in Jorbar, suddenly attempted to seize the synagogue, which probably would be leveled. The Ministry acted despite warnings by the attorney representing the Jewish community that such a move would have international repercussions.
Dwek said he has sent telegrams to President Carter and Secretary General Kurt Waldheim of the United Nations urging them to send their personal appeals to President Hafez Assad of Syria in the most appropriate way, requesting his protection of the synagogue, known in Arabic as “Moqam Al Khudr. Dwek pointed put that the Alowite Moslem sect of which Assad is a member, reveres Elijah as “Al Khudr” — The Prophet.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.