El Ghriba Synagogue and Er-Riadh happy snaps

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – men reading aloud

This is a pictorial blog.

We visit the little town of Er-Riadh on Djerba Island in Tunisia.

Here we first visit El Ghriba Synagogue.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – traditional doorways

The Jewish Synagogue was bombed a few years ago, so there is a security check point on entering. So recent history includes that on April 11, 2002, a truck full of explosives was detonated close to the synagogue.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – traditional gates and doorways

This resulted in killing 21 people, of whom 14 were German tourists, five were local Tunisians and two French nationals. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – the main wall of the inner synagogue

Therefore handbag and body scan is definitely in order and police stop vehicles.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – historical plaques

We took a taxi 7 km from the neighbouring township of Houmt Souk.

Wikipedia tells us:

Basic information
Location DjerbaTunisia
Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
Rite Maghrebi (Tochavim)
Status Pilgrimage site
Architectural description
Architectural style Moorish
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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – ornate ceilings

This is a pilgrimage site, and steeped in history.

When inside women must ensure their knees are covered, and their head. Scarves are available, but I brought my own.

A man comes and touches my son on the head in the form of a blessing we felt.

We loved seeing the men sit and read their ancient books.

One of my most favourite photographs is the very top on on this article.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – Explorason sits and rests inside

King Solomon has association here. I hope some wisdom rubs off on me. But all I do is leave with a boomer headache.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – detailed walls and glass and silver candle holders

It is one of the oldest Synagogue sites in the world.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – prayer request papers are tucked in the top wood panel

The pilgrimage area means there are simple rooms set around a courtyard.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – pilgrimage area

Here is the ceremonial wagon.

We get to hold flowers – in fact he asks us to.

Out of respect I am required to cover my knees and my head. I think I like this look!

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – El Ghriba Synagogue – ceremonial wagon

We then catch a taxi to the local market. Oxala House owner has told us there is a market today, but the 1st taxi driver told us it wasn’t on and tried to wait so he could get a ride back.

Thankfully we knew where we stayed had given us some good information, so we were glad when we found the market.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – mint for sale

Locals gather for a bargain.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – local shopping

All the locals wear woven straw hats.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – a local seller

Dates were for sale and I loved the aroma of the market.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – Dates and a lot of them #1
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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – Dates and a lot of them #2
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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – Dates and a lot of them #3

Hats for sale.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – Loads of hats for sale

This man is blind I think.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – a local shopping. They use woven basket to carry their wares

We didn’t give to this beggar.

Later we see him two more times in another town, and learn he is a bit of a professional. Being Ramadan, the poor are out and the locals give to help them.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – We se this poor man a few times. He has a lovely smile.

After this we hire a taxi who takes us around to see the Djerbahood – a world famous Art Project in the street.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Tunisia – Djerba – Er-Riadh – This town has loads of back streets and an art area – a must see.

This is an amazing area to visit if you come to Tunisia – You’ll have to read that article separately.

2 comments

  1. This post especially touched me. Tunisia has been on my list of places to visit ever since I started speaking French, but I just never made it there–one day I will! Being Jewish, I always go out of my way to visit the Jewish sites and synagogues (especially in places where there is no longer a thriving Jewish community, such as Marrakech), but I rarely see them on travel blogs apart from the Prague Jewish Museum and Great Synagogue of Budapest. So, thank you for partially dedicating this post to this synagogue. It’s beautiful, and I hope to visit one day myself.

    Chloe | Wanderlust in the Midwest

    1. Tunisia is crying out for people to visit it. I loved our time there and the whole town is based around the Jewish community. I felt very touched to be there and feel the kindness and love in the Synagogue. I hope you get to visit one day.

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