Of 18 Jews left in the nation, 12 remain in Alexandria.
The year, as we mark the season of Passover, there has been a discovery of the remains of a pyramid in Egypt that was reportedly built around the time of the Exodus:
Ahead of the Passover holiday, an unknown pyramid was discovered in Egypt, dating roughly to the time of Jews’ exodus from bondage.
A top antiquities official says an Egyptian excavation team has discovered the remains of a pyramid dating back to the 13th Dynasty, some 3700 years ago.
The head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Mahmoud Afifi, said in a statement Monday that the remains were located north of King Sneferu’s bent pyramid in the Dahshur royal necropolis south of Cairo.
And while that is good news for those who love ancient Egypt, there is now troubling evidence that the Exodus from Egypt is nearly complete: There are only 18 Jews left in the nation. An AFP report from Emmanuel Parisse details how handful of Egyptian Jews remain in the Arab world’s most populous country and struggle to preserve their heritage.
In downtown Cairo, a bustling street lined with old hotels and shops leads to an imposing stone building modeled after an ancient Egyptian temple: the Sha’ar Hashamayim synagogue, built around 1900.
Inside, Magda Haroun carefully unrolls Torah scrolls kept in the synagogue’s ark.
The synagogue is mostly empty these days, but Haroun, 65, remembers when its benches were filled with worshippers, including her late father Shehata Haroun, a celebrated lawyer.
Haroun carries the title of president of Cairo’s Jewish community— six elderly women including herself and her mother— and says her task is to preserve a centuries-old heritage.
Her mother Marcelle Haroun, 91, cries when she discusses her community’s fading past.
“According to the stories, Jews lived in Egypt since the pharaohs. Do you want to make centuries of history vanish?” she says.
When I was in Egypt during a 1989 dream trip through the country, I was blessed to be able to visit the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue. I recall how friendly the rabbi was, and how he kindly took my boyfriend at the time and myself (a Muslim and a Christian) on a personal tour. It was a lovely moment in time, and I am saddened that Egypt has lost so much of its dynamic population.
Now that the government is stabilized under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, workers have been busily construction the new Grand Egyptian Museum that will have a view of the pyramids of Giza. The GEM, slated to fully open in 2018, It will be the largest museum in the world dedicated to one civilization, and indications are some of Egypt’s Jewish treasures will be on display.
Officially, the government now makes no distinction between Pharaonic, Islamic, Coptic and Jewish heritage, and the antiquities ministry has come up with the funds to fix the roof of Alexandria’s synagogue.
… Khaled el-Enany, told AFP that in early 2016 he set up a committee to list “all the Jewish monuments and Jewish collections that are in the synagogues.
The treasures may remain, but the people are gone. The Exodus from Egypt is essentially complete.