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menorah in ephesus

Judaism in Ephesus, Turkey

Judaism in Ephesus, Turkey

Throughout history, Jews have lived in communities along the Mediterranean Sea. At different points in time their livelihood was affected by many socio-political events. Thus, it is not always possible to get a thorough understanding of Jewish life in a particular place. Nevertheless, it is exciting to locate different aspects of Jewish life. If you’re indulging in a Mediterranean cruise and stopping in Kusadasi (Turkey), Catania (Sicily), and/or Athens, consider exploring these sites to get a small taste of Jewish history. Historical references indicate that there was once a Jewish community in Ephesus. The exact dates of the community’s existence are not known nor have the remains of a synagogue been excavated. Paul preached early Christian teachings in an Ephesus synagogue. Jews were granted citizenship during the Hellenistic period while during the Roman period, Jews were exempt from military service in deference to Jewish law. Other documents indicate that Jews were allowed to practice their Judaism openly even though inscriptions on Jewish tombs indicate assimilation. A 7 branched candelabra engraved into the library steps (Roman Imperial Era) demonstrates evidence of a Jewish presence in Ephesus. Ephesus is mentioned in the rabbinical writings in Targ. to I Chron. i. 5 and Yer. Meg. 71b. The Rabbis, when referring to Asia, always mean simply Ephesus. The charming tale of the widow of Ephesus, which was known as early as the Talmud (Ḳid. 80b), is treated several times in Jewish works.

ephesus cat

Notes About Our Tours

  • Plese keep in mind that your tour will be operated privately for you, so you can decide yourself when to start your tour. We believe starting around 09:00 am will be always the best, but also starting as early as possible is better for cruise guests to avoid the crowds.
  • Our tours include Hotel / Cruise Port (Izmir, Kusadasi) / Airport (Istanbul, Izmir) pick up & drop by private coach.
  • Parking fees and gas is included
  • Your very own Private Licenced Tour Guide in languages like English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German.
  • All state taxes, official expenses and all required insurance.
  • No extra, hidden, suprise, unexpected charges!
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