Initiated by Migdal Haemek's Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, the new synagogue was inaugurated last week by rabbis and company representatives in a festive afternoon prayer.
Anyone driving on Israel's highways is familiar with the phenomenon: While the morning prayer is usually held before drivers leave the house, and the evening prayer can also take place late at night, the afternoon prayer is limited in time and often must be conducted as the driver is on his way home in the middle of a traffic jam.
As a result, many stop to pray alone by the side of the road, which is both dangerous – especially on Highway 6, and does not allow for a public prayer.
Library of Holy Scriptures coming soon. Inside synagogue
In recent months, Rabbi Shmuel Rosenberg set up two Chabad centers in northern intersections for that purpose, but no solution was found for Highway 6 drivers.
Rabbi Grossman approached Derech Eretz CEO Udi Savion several months ago and asked him for permission to set up a portable synagogue on a parking lot between the Baqa and Iron intersections on the northbound side of the road.
Coming soon: Synagogue on opposite side
The initiative hit the road, got the required approvals (from the company's security officer, for instance), and the building was inaugurated last week.
Rabbi Rosenberg, who will run the place, promised that within a short while the synagogue would operate 24 hours a day and would include a library of Holy Scriptures so that it could also serve as a place for people to stop and study Torah midway and not just for prayer.
In addition, the company operating the road will place signs directing drivers to the synagogue.
Derech Eretz CEO Savion expressed his satisfaction over the spiritual contribution to the road's drivers. "I promised Rabbi Grossman that we would build such a synagogue on the opposite side of the road as well, and we will try to do that as soon as possible," he said.
The rabbi said, "Passengers travelling on these roads need so many prayers in order to reach their destination safely. There is no doubt that this synagogue will protect and shelter the road and those traveling on it."