When Jordan attacked Jerusalem during the War of Independence and captured the Old City in 1948, the Jordanian Legion destroyed many synagogues, including the largest one in the Jewish Quarter.
In 1967, the Jewish Quarter came under Israeli control. In 1977, an arch was built to remember the Hurva or the Ruined Synagogue, on the spot where synagogues have been successively built and destroyed since the second century.
After years of delay and debate, a week before the March 15, 2010 dedication date, the construction was nearing completion, but there was still plenty of work left to do.
However, as the sun was setting on March 14, 2010,
the synagogue was ready.
Torah scrolls were brought up from the Kotel, the Western Wall, under a chupah, a special canopy.
Hundreds of men danced in front of the procession.
Thousands of people along the route sang, clapped and took photos.
A huge crowd filled the central square of the Jewish Quarter as people enjoyed the live music.
The restored synagogue will not be exactly the same, however,
as this time the building is air conditioned.
The official dedication ceremony marks an historical end and a new beginning;
may this site become a place of prayer and study and see no more destruction.