Friday, October 19, 2007


A young Jewish guide will teach you a lot about Prague's recent past. The jewish cimetary is charming, like many old grave yards are. Scrolls on a grave indicate learning and grapes and pine cones a multi layered, multifaceted person held in high esteem. The Spanish Synagogue is not build by the Sephardi Jews but by the eastern Ashkenazim. They build it in the Moorish, Spanish style and showed their opulence. The Pinkasova Synagogue is now an impressive memorial for the victims of the Nazi's. The 77.297 names are inscribed on the walls. It is a shock to find one's own last name there. There are 2000 Jews registered and practicing and about 5000 in total. 'There are no problems in Prague with Jews', said the guide, 'because you cannot see who is a Jew. We don't have an orthodox community here.' The old ghetto had been torn down under communism with the cooperation of the Jewish Council and the insalubrious place has been turned into the most expensive street of Prague: Paris street. The Guide said a generation of people is missing, since they never knew they were Jewish and she did point out there is a difference between being anti-Semite and anti-Zionist. The cultural life is vibrant , the arts are doing well and these synagogues are used as museums and as places of worship.

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