Rome’s largest synagogue was decorated with thousands of flowers as part of the community’s tradition ahead of the holiday of Shavuot.
The flowers — arrangements of roses of various colors and pink calla lilies, among others — were placed along the aisle of the Great Synagogue of Rome, on its bimah, on the Torah ark and between the pews.
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Flowers are placed each year during the holiday in the synagogue, a square-domed building with river views that is considered one of Europe’s most spectacular and ornate Jewish houses of worship. This year the display promises to be particularly spectacular thanks to the recent installment of lighting on the building’s exterior, Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, said in a statement.
“Our prayer is: ‘Make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them’,” Di Segni, vice presidnet of the Conference of European Rabbis, wrote in the statement, quoting Exodus.
Shavuot, occurring seven weeks after Passover, celebrates the giving of the Torah by God to the Jews. It begins Saturday night. Also known as the Holiday of Harvest, it recalls when Jews were commanded to bring the first yields as an offering to God.
Besides Shavuot, the 149-year-old Great Synagogue of Rome is also decorated with flowers during weddings.