Al-Omari Mosque – Triangle of Peace

Three places of worship stand near each other in the heart of the Old City of Lod, representing three religions: The Church of St. George, the al-Omari Mosque (the Great Mosque) and the Sha’arei Shamayim (Heaven’s Gates) Synagogue. These sacred structures are testimony to the special social fabric that characterizes the town and its Muslim, Christian, and Jewish residents.

The Al-Omari Mosque is named, as are other mosques in the area, after the Caliph Omar ibn Al-Khattab. A stone inscription in Arabic on the gate of the mosque describes its construction in 1268 AD by Alla a-Din a-Suak, who was the local ruler during the reign of Baibars, the Mameluke sultan.

The Sha’arei Shamayim (Heaven’s Gates) Synagogue was founded in 1976 by the late Rabbi Shmuel Michaelshvili and the Jewish-Georgian community of Lod.

Translation of the Arabic inscription

(from year 666 of the Hegira – 1268 AD):

“In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, our master the Sultan al-Malk a-Taher Raken ad-Dunya and ad-Din Abu al-Fatah Baybars a-Zalah, friend of the minister of believers, ordered us to build this blessed Mosque.  God will glorify his victories and show him mercy. The work was managed by his slave seeking his master’s mercy Alla a-Din Ali a-Suak, God show him mercy during the month of Ramadan.”