On shabbat morning, we walked to the Italian Synagogue which was right down the street. The synagogue was gorgeous. It was originally built in Italy in the 17th century. It stayed as a functioning synagogue until about 1900 when it was closed but was maintained in Italy until it was moved to Jerusalem in the early 1950s. It is the same way as it was when it was built. My favorite part is the ark, which was intricate and painted gold. It is a Orthodox synagogue so the women had to go high up on the balcony so they were separated from the men, and had to peer out from shutters like 400 years ago.
The tunes used at the service were very different from the tunes all of us are used to. For most of the service, we all just listened. Jeremy had the opportunity to do the Levi Aliyah after I passed it up because I thought the gabbai was asking “Are you leaving?” rather than “Are you Levi?” We left the service and were very moved by the experience.