Near the remains of a synagogue built in the period of the Second Temple, the Chief Rabbi of Krasnodar Menachem Lazar and a delegation of local Jews recited a prayer, and the sound of the shofar was once again heard in this historical place after thousands of years.
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lazar of Krasnodar was invited to visit the site where archeological excavations are being conducted in the ancient city of Phanagoria, not far from the city of Krasnodar on the Taman peninsula in southern Russia. A week ago the remains of a synagogue built in the period of the Second Temple were discovered there, making headlines all over the world.
By government orders, the place is completely closed for the coming year, while Russia’s greatest archaeologists are working to map the entire area and further their research of the rare remains found there.
During the visit, the researchers said that as the excavations progressed it became clear that the entire area was a Jewish one, and the synagogue stood there for several generations. It was surprising to discover that the synagogue’s benches were made of wood. Behind the synagogue was a large oven for baking bread, and there are clear signs of a nearby Mikvah.
The site is located in Southwestern Russia, between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, making it a convenient location for thriving community life.
At the end of the tour, after answering various questions posed by the researchers, the Rabbi and his delegation said a prayer and the sound of the shofar was once again heard in this historical place after thousands of years.
Photography: Volnoe Delo Foundation of Phanagoria