The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona was built in the sixth century and is the oldest saving synagogue in Spain and one of five medieval synagogues in the world. It was built underground because because no house of worship was allowed to be taller than the smallest Catholic church. Of course then came The Spanish Inquisition 1391 and the Jewish quarter was sacked and over 300 were killed. Jews were forced to turnover all their possessions to the King and permitted to leave the country. The alternative was death of conversion to Catholicism. The Nazi’s didn’t invent this stuff they were just more efficient at it.

Today the synagogue is a museum. Barcelona has two working synagogues and a pollution of around 15,000 jewish people with about 45,000 in Spain. Of course like jewish people all over the world they face anti semitism but in Spain like the United States they are now free to practice their faith.

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

The Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona

Holocaust Stumbling Stones (Stolpersteine ) in Rome

In each city they are called something different. In Munich and Prague they are called Stolperstein. In Rome they are called stumbling stones. You see them in what was the old Jewish ghetto outside the houses in which they lived. Each plaque is detailed with the victim’s first and last name, date of birth, date and place of deportation, and date of death in a Nazi Death Camp. We make sure we visit these sites as we travel.

We visit the synagogue, walk in the streets of the old ghetto and have lunch. The ghettos are quite nice now and in some, Prague and Rome they have Museums and working synagogues and a growing Jewish population. We make sure we visit these sites NOT only because we were raised as Jews but because we live as human beings and must assure that the world does not forget the long history of violence against the Jewish people. We honor the gentle people that were led to slaughter and pray it never happens again.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Holocaust Stolpersteine

Moment#2–Shabbat Shalom

Last week Dale Schmitt and I opened our photo exhibition, Moments and Souls at the Percolate Gallery in Pittsburgh. I realize that many of you can not make it in to the gallery so over the next few weeks I will be publishing “the moments” that were my contribution to the show.

This image was taken in Prague in The Czech Republic outside the one remaining active synagogue. Before the war there were 11 synagogues and the Jewish population was around 300,000, today there are about 4000 Jews remaining and they are allowed to practice their faith without reprisals for the first since the 5th century.

To buy a print of this image click here.

Shabbat Shalom

The Jewish Cemetery in Praha

The old Jewish Cemetery in Praha (Prague) is one of the important Jewish historical monuments in Prague. It served its purpose from the first half of 15th century till 1786. Renowned personalities of the local Jewish community were buried here. Today the cemetery is administered by the Jewish Museum in Prague.

During the more than three centuries in which it was in active use, the cemetery continually struggled with the lack of space. Piety and respect for the deceased ancestors does not allow the Jews to abolish old graves. Jews were forbidden from land purchases and from owning gold. Hatred of Jews was not invented by Nazis.

To gain space if necessary, a new layer of soil was heaped on top of an old grave. For this reason, there are places where as many as twelve layers now exist. Thanks to this solution the older graves themselves remained intact but the cemetery looks like none other with tombstones stacked on top of each other.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

The Jewish Cemetery in Praha