Ohel Rahel synagogue #general

Judith Romney Wegner

Subject: Shanghai - Othel Rachel Synagogue
From: "Debbie Raff" >

I just read an article in our Jewish Community News about the restoration
of the Othel Rachel Synagogue in Shanghai.
OTHEL? This looks like a typo. More likely the name would be Ohel Rahel
("Tent of Rachel"). Perhaps someone misread the heh as a taf and therefore
mistranscribed it

Synagogues are quite often called Ohel Sarah, Ohel Rivkah, Ohel Leah, so
why not Ohel Rahel? The use of Ohel ("tent" in biblical Hebrew) with the
name of a matriarch stems >from the fact that the root aleph-heh-lamed in
semitic languages actually means "family" or "tribe." So strictly
speaking these synagogue names connote the concept "descendants of
Sarah/Rebekah , etc." (cf. the Islamic term for the Jews: "ahl-al-kitab"
-- meaning "People of the Book")

Judith Romney Wegner

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