In the previous post we arrived at a small moshav/village in the Negev called Nevatim.
I promised to show you more than just the food.
(Photo credit: CC BY Wouter Hagens/Wikipedia public domain)
But first I want you to see this top photo of the Paradesi synagogue in Cochin (or Kochi), India.
The Times of Israel, in its series "See in Cochin," says
This synagogue was first built in 1568 and is the oldest synagogue in India as well as the entire British Commonwealth. The interior is beautifully decorated with clear influence taken from the Indian trade routes of Europe, China, and the Middle East. This foreign influence is a direct reflection of the varying origins of the Jews of Kochi.I might add that only a few dozen Jews remain today in Cochin.
The Paradesi Synagogue is one of seven in Kochi, however it is the only one still functioning. The original synagogue was destroyed by the Portuguese in the 17th century and later rebuilt with the help of the Dutch.
The rest immigrated to Israel, beginning in the early 1950s.
Wiki says Israel has over 70,000 Indian Jews; and our guide, Miri, said 6,000 Cochin Jews now live in Israel (counting those who "married in").
Now look at the synagogue built by the Cochin Jews of Nevatim in Israel!
The same almost!
Standing by the bima is Mira, who welcomed our Meitar group and guided us in their Cochin Jewish Heritage Center and in their synagogue.
Here is the Torah ark (aron kodesh).
The view from up in the women's gallery.
Close-up of the doors of the holy ark.
(All my photos can be much enlarged with two clicks.)
In the next few days I will take you upstairs to where the women pray and tell you about a Cochin tradition that will surprise you.
Meanwhile, if you want more information se
UPDATE Nov.16, 2013: Prince Charles and his wife spent his 65th birthday today being welcomed in the Pardesi synagogue in Cochin. See the video.
(Linking to inSPIREd Sunday meme.)