Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Cochin - Nevatim (Part Two - the synagogue)



The  synagogue - plain outside,  stunning inside. It is built in the style of the Kerala (south-west India) ancient synagogues, specifically that of Cochin. 
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There are some blue benches in front of the building, and a dark blue engraved prayer  (the moon prayer) hanging near the entrance


the facade of the synagogue building

the moon prayer - in Cochin  tradition


Upon entering the synagogue, I stood breathless for the first few moments.  Never ever had I seen such beauty, such richness of detail and color, lights and pillars, fine furniture and ornaments -  in a relatively compact interior!

the interior, at first sight

The central part of the synagogue  is taken by the Holy Ark ( the wooden closet which contains the Torah scrolls) , and in front of it - the bimah (the podium) for Torah readings. There's a second bimah on the upper floor, the ladies'  floor.


                    the Holy Ark with a dark blue velvet curtain on its door

the bimah (podium) where prayers and Torah readings are done

listening to Mira's lecture; see the gorgeous ceiling

more audience; 

the balcony, the adorned pillars, the chairs

see the ornaments on both sides of the Holy Ark

Sadly, several years ago, someone broke a window and stole some valuable items. I hope the lesson was learnt and security reinforced.

26 comments:

  1. What does the Moon Prayer say?

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    1. It praises God, the Creator of all, for this wonder of the Moon to renew itself every beginning of the month (according to the jewish calendar).

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  2. The Holy Ark is stunning, a very beautiful building. So sad there are people out there that would break in and steal things, unfortunately they are everywhere in the world

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    1. Yes, it is. I couldn't take my eyes off it.
      The thieves were not found, neither the stolen items.

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  3. Olá, belas fotos partilhadas, não me admiro que tenha ficado sem fôlego quando entrou sinagoga, pela beleza que encanta.
    Continuação de Feliz semana,
    AG

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    1. Thank you. I have some more beautiful photos but I have to limit myself, somehow, in a post.

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  4. A striking contrast from the facade outside to the ornate inside. I never really thought about the different expressions of a synagogue from different `cultures`. Makes me wonder what a synagogue in Japan might look like and how God`s glory would be expressed. Thank you always for sharing with us the places you see!! Looks like you had a wonderful visit.

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    1. I think Tokyo has a jewish community and a synagogue; perhaps other cities in Japan too.
      You could try and find out about the nearest to your place of living - Oita.

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  5. I enlarged the photos so I could be in awe of the beauty! The intricate details are so beautiful!

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    1. You did the right thing. In an enlarged photo it's easier, of course, to see the details.

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  6. Colorful details. That ceiling must be something to observe in person! Very beautiful.

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    1. Both the ceiling and the floor are kind of special. The ceiling has tiny squares, each with a round shape (like a tomato)in the middle. The color of this round shape, matches somehow (in my opinion) the color of the floor tiles.

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  7. It is beautiful! I admire your fervent religiousity.

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    1. I'm not religious, but I do like and even observe a few reliious traditions which I think add meaning and beauty to Life.

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  8. Wow! Amazing how shocking the inside is compared to the outside. Looks like it was worthy seeing.

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    1. I think something should be done about the discrepancy between interior and exterior, but it has to come from the community in Nevatim itself.

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  9. Very beautiful photos, Duta! I've always been curious, and should've asked my Jewish friends - I'm wondering why the color blue seems to be associated with synagogues, Hanukkah, etc. You would never know by looking at the facade how exquisite the interior is! Very different from our Methodist church. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading this, and always learn something new when I come here! Take care

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    1. The blue color is indeed significant in judaism. It is usually associated with the Ten Commandements. It is believed that when they were given, God stood on a blue colored pavement.

      Anyway, the stripes in the prayer shawls of the people praying at the synagogue are blue (and by the way Israel's flag colors are blue and white).

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  10. This post and the one preceding it are so very interesting.

    So much history involved here...a history about which I'd not been aware until now...thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Lee. You're right about the history. I would also add ethnicity, religion, customs.

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  11. What a contrast from the building's exterior to the interior beauty as many others have already commented. And, while I too am not overly religious Duta, I can certainly appreciate the significance such a building holds for so many. Thanks for sharing this post and the previous one.

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    1. Indeed, one doesn't have to be religious to be able to appreciate the value or significance of a synagogue, church, mosque, temple, shrine..in the hearts and minds of believers.

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  12. random comment but the lighting looks so amazing in here, or maybe its just the photos?

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    1. The lighting is indeed amazing; even more than in the photos. There are both individual light fixtures and clusters of them- all creating a feeric atmosphere.

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  13. It is always good to read through all the comments.
    These are informative.

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    1. Thanks for your sincerity. I often go back to a post in other blogs to read all the comments.

      Sometimes, comments are even more interesting than the post that has arose them.

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