Spiritual Enrichment Activity: Dimona facility now houses a synagogue

For 1st time, religious employees at reactor will have a place to pray. The initiative was spearheaded by Rabbi David Abuhatseira, with help of American Jewish millionaire Ira Rennert.

By Yehuda Shlezinger


Israelis will celebrate the Simchat Torah holiday next week, but before this another large Torah-related celebration will take place in the most clandestine place in Israel — the nuclear reactor in Dimona.

A limited number of specially invited guests are slated to attend the special ceremony on Tuesday to inaugurate a new synagogue at the site, including a Torah scroll, the first ever at the nuclear reactor.

The Dimona facility now features a synagogue. – Photo: Dudu Greenshpan

According to a source involved in the organization of the ceremony, until now there was no synagogue or Torah scroll at the site and prayers were held in various shelters.

The initiative began about a year ago, when Rabbi David Abuhatseira contacted American Jewish millionaire Ira Rennert with an urgent request to build a synagogue and bring a Torah scroll to the site.

“The rabbi claimed that having a synagogue at the reactor would reflect a combination of tremendous holiness and power, which is very important,” the source said. “The rabbi asked us to make the preparations as soon as possible and construction of the synagogue was completed only recently. The building, located inside the reactor, is brand new, very fancy, and contains some 300 places.”

The source added, “People work at the reactor 365 days a year, even during the holidays, and up until today there was no synagogue there, so it was very important to the rabbi. There are thousands of workers at the reactor, and we were surprised to learn that for the hundreds of religious employees among them, there was no place to pray.”

According to the source, there is a close connection between the timing of the inauguration of the Torah scroll and the public debate over the Iranian nuclear threat: “We have no doubt that by building a synagogue and bringing a Torah scroll to a special place like this, will we will be protected from above against all external threats, including from Iran.”

View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=5955