Old-Fashioned diplomacy

“Why is there no dome atop your synagogue as there are on the synagogues in my empire?”

This was the question put to his Jewish escorts back in 1870 by Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austro-Hungary during a visit to Jerusalem. This European ruler, respected for his benevolent policy towards his Jewish subjects, was being shown the yet unfinished Nissan Beck Synagogue by some of those subjects now living in Jerusalem.

“Your highness,” one of them diplomatically explained, “even the synagogue wishes to pay tribute to you by removing its hat!”
(source: The Ohr Somayach torah Magazine On The Internet • Ohrnet – www.OHR.Edu, Shabbat Parshat Nitzavim • 28 Elul 5772 – Sep. 15, 2012 • vOl. 19 NO. 48)

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