Eldridge Street Synagogue, New York, USA


Shelach Lecha (שלח לך – send for yourself), Book of Numbers, chapters 13 to 15. Moses sends twelve spies to explore the Promised Land. Upon their return, except for Caleb and Joshua, the spies declare that conquering the land is impossible, causing doubt and lamentation among the people. God condemns that generation to die in the desert. Following this, God prescribes the laws of agricultural offerings and emphasizes the observance of the Sabbath. Lastly, God commands the wearing of tzitzit as a reminder of the commandments and to stay faithful to them.

The Eldridge Street Synagogue was founded in 1887 by Jewish immigrants who came to explore this new land. The architect Peter Harrison designed the building, which features a blend of Gothic and Moorish styles. The colorful stained glass windows, primarily in shades of blue, echo the threads of the tzitzit. After restoration, the synagogue reopened in 2007 as a museum and active place of worship, preserving the history of the Jewish community in New York.

Tempio Maggiore, Rome, Italy


The Parasha Bahalotera (Numbers 8 to 12) recounts the preparation of the Menorah, the purification of the Levites, the establishment of Passover Sheni, as well as an insert between the story of the quails and that of the explorers.

Some commentators consider this insert (10, 35-36) delimited by the letters ׆ (inverted nun), as a hymn. These verses evoke the movements of the Holy Ark and call on Gd to intervene in favor of the people of Israel.

The Tempio Maggiore di Roma, also known as the Great Synagogue of Rome, was built between 1901 and 1904 by a group of Italian architects1 led by Domenico Costanzi2. This edifice features a mix of modern and eclectic architectural styles, combining neo-Roman, neo-Byzantine, and Moorish elements to create a unique and impressive aesthetic. The Holy Ark is considered the largest in the world. It houses the essential content of the teachings and values of the Jewish faith.

1 Notably Osvaldo Armanni and Vincenzo Costa
2 Italian Jewish entrepreneur who built large hotels in Rome, as well as the Teatro Reale dell’Opera.