SYNAGOGUE IN RUINS. In December 1947, days after the United Nations voted to partition Palestine between the land’s Jews and Arabs, Jewish communities around the Middle East came under attack by their Arab neighbors. In Aleppo, Syria, anti-Jewish rioters targeted shops, homes, community institutions and the Great Synagogue (pictured in ruins shortly after the riots). Encouraged by Syrian soldiers—who had been dispatched to protect the complex—rioters entered the synagogue, hurled 40 Torah scrolls into the courtyard, drenched them in kerosene and set them, and thousands of other sacred items, aflame. Rioters also attacked the synagogue’s prized possession, the Aleppo Codex, tearing out pages, tossing the ancient manuscript to the ground and possibly burning parts of it.