Vilna Gaon’s 17th Century Shul Destroyed by Nazis is Unearthed

The 17th Century-built Great Synagogue of Vilnius was unearthed by archaeologists in Lithuania, 80 years after it was destroyed by the Nazis and Soviets. Once the site of the Vilna Gaon’s davening, the site was used as a synagogue from as early as 1440, before the Great Synagogue was built in 1630. While the dig site has been catalogued and mapped for several years, the recent discovery of two mikvahs is a groundbreaking achievement. Diggers also found a yad, utilized for Torah reading at the shul. A memorial to the historic synagogue will be built there by the city of Vilnius, along with an artifact display. Read more here.


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