Sunday, October 14, 2012

Want To Pray Near Noah's Ark?

From the Travels of Benjamin of Tudela:

It is one day hence to the ancient place of Haran, 34 which contains twenty Jewish inhabitants, who also possess a synagogue erected by Esra. Nobody is allowed to construct any building on the spot where the house of our father Abraham was situated; even the Mohammedans pay respect to the place, and resort thither to pray. Two days' journey from thence is . . .  35 at the mouth of the El-Khabur, the Habor of Scripture. This river takes its course through Media, and loses itself in the Kizil Ozein. About two hundred Jews dwell near this place. Two days to Nisibin, a large city plentifully watered, and containing about one thousand Jews. Two days to Jezireh ben Omar, an island in the Tigris, at the foot of Mount Ararat, 36 and four miles distant from the spot where the ark of Noah rested; Omar Ben al-Khatab removed the ark from the summit of the two mountains and made a mosque of it. There still exists in the vicinity of the ark a synagogue of Esra the scribe, which is visited by the Jews of the city on the 9th of Ah. 

Interestingly I could not find any other reference to the Ark being made into a mosque - possibly because the Islamic tradition places the resting place of the Ark quite far away from Ararat.

No comments: