Friday, March 27, 2009

GOOD MORNING ST. THOMAS!

Our last port of call...St. Thomas! This was also our last stop on our Jewish Heritage tour. But, first...this is the view we woke up to as we stepped out on to our balcony!! Just beautiful!! And, this is just part of the panoramic scene!!

This is the Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas, another with a sand floor, founded in 1796. Not quite as old as the one in Curacao, but mighty old, indeed. After several fires, this final building has been standing since 1833. Amazing history!!

We were getting ready to have our Saturday morning service, but before starting the rabbi was nice enough to give us a brief history of the congregation and showed us the array of Torah in the ark. Two in particular stand out.

First is the one in the tan colored casing. It is a rare Asian Torah in a circular wood casing...fascinating!!

Second is the one just to its left in the photo. It is a Holocaust Torah; one that was confiscated and catalogued by Hitler. If you look closely you may be able to see the numbers scratched into the top of one of the wooden scroll handles. This was extremely emotional!!



While Torah is usually laid down to read, this Asian one in the wooden case is just opened up and is read standing up. That's me, with one of the rabbis standing behind me, called up to the Torah, as an honor. Several of us had that opportunity. This was emotional as well for me, and in this pic I am wiping my eyes.

Here we are outside the synagogue walking up the hill to the social building, where the congregation has activities. This shows just how steep the hills are.

A photo of the outside of the synagogue from the balcony of the social building...What scenery!!

Services and tour over, Michelle and I hit the shops for one last chance to spend what little money we have left!! About 99% of the shops are jewelery shops!!

"Tomorrow", Sunday, we disembark back in San Juan. Michelle went directly to her plane. I, on the other hand, had one more opportunity to visit for a while.

More tomorrow.
Thanks for stopping by.
:0)
Peggy

3 comments:

Laura said...

St. Thomas is beautiful, and what a special trip this was - a rare opportunity!

Amber Zimmerman said...

We visited St. Thomas on our cruise last year in May! It was beautiful. . .the history of it makes it even more amazing. So glad you're enjoying your trip! =)

Jewish Gift said...

Torah is a gift to all jewish people