Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Churchagogues?

SAMUEL HA-LEVI ABULAFIA.
OUR HOTEL IN BACKGROUND.
Toledo has two fascinating examples of ancient synagogues. Of course, both were converted to churches centuries ago but, unlike so many of these buildings in Spain, the two in Toledo are no longer used as houses of worship and are instead museums dedicated to their Jewish history.

And, once again, I DO go on. Skip the history if you have no interest and just look at the pictures. But don't miss the closing paragraph after all the photos.

Click to fargresern the images... that's enlarge in Yiddish... Or at least I think it is... I had to look it up. At least I know it's not farkrimen, which is distortOh, just go ahead and click already. What do you need, an engraved invitation?


El Transito
The first, Sinagoga del Tránsito, was founded in 1356 by Samuel ha-Levi Abulafia, Treasurer to King Peter of Castile — until the king had him executed in 1460.

After all Jews were finally expelled from Spain in 1492, El Tránsito was converted to a church, Nuestra Señora Del Transito.

It was a military headquarters during the Napoleonic Wars, became a national monument in 1877, and was transformed into the Sephardic Museum beginning in 1910.


Santa María La Blanca
Built sometime around the year 1200 and originally called Ibn Shushan Synagogue or The Congregational Synagogue of Toledo, this is considered (with some dispute) the oldest synagogue building (still standing) in Europe. It became a church in the very early 1400s and is still owned and now preserved by the Catholic Church as a museum.


El Transito/Sephardic Museum


ORIGINAL SECTION OF FLOORING.






Santa Maria La Blanca







The traditional Yiddish (German-origin) word for synagogue or temple is 'shul.' 

My Jewish grandmother, a polite woman, did not use the word shul when speaking with gentiles who might not understand (oddly, she included me in this group). Instead, she would use the word synagogue. 

Unfortunately, she pronounced it "sindergarden," so she really wasn't much help.

27 comments:

  1. Haha, your Bubbeh pronounced "shul", "sindergarden." That's so cute, Mitchell. And a bit meshugenah.
    What a phenomenal place. I couldn't figure out if that's a cross on top, or a wind-thingy (windergarden?). Yeah, I think it's a windergarden. Nu?
    xx

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    1. Robyn:
      Jerry met her a few weeks before she died. She, of course, loved him. She told him about the sindergarden and I had to translate her translation. I think that wind-thingy is a wind-thingy-cross. Would that make it a windercrossen?

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    2. That's so sweet and cute, Mitchell. I'm glad she and Jerry met. May her memory be forever a blessing.

      A shul windercrossen - I like it.

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  2. Two very appealing and majestic buildings that exude an air of mystique.
    Thank you for sharing them.

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    1. Heron:
      Santa Maria La Blanca had an especially mystical feel. Too bad It was pouring when we were there, so I didn't get photos outside.

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  3. Stunning architecture! I like your history lessons, Mitchell.

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    1. Jim:
      Stick with me! I hated history when I was a kid. Now I can't get enough.

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  4. Beautiful.... and fascinating!

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    1. Sharon:
      You would definitely love Toledo.

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  5. great and impressive churches thanksfor sharing

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    1. Gosia:
      And I think even more impressive as synagogues.

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  6. Oooh oooh oooh, I especially love the closeup of the carving on the columns at Santa Maria la Blanca. I love the contrast of the smooth, white columns against the carved stone capitals.
    I'm happy to see your lovely grandmother, too :)

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    1. Judy:
      Thanks for appreciating that specific photo. I was proud of that because I thought I had really captured what I wanted there (and you picked up on it). I'll have to start telling Grandma stories.

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  7. Fantastic architecture.

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    1. Wilma:
      You can't turn your head in Toledo without seeing something historic and picturesque.

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  8. Replies
    1. John:
      I can't imagine what Santa Maria La Blanca would look like on a sunny day. That was a rainy and overcast day and still the natural light was brilliant.

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  9. How wonderful. And how could you not write about the history of these places; they are part of a rich heritage as well as a shameful page in European history. The Expulsion was a giant money grab by that horrid woman and her husband. I found it all I could do to not spit on their graves in Grenada. Wonderful to see that, if they can't be houses of worship, they are at least houses of memory.

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    1. Willym:
      Thank you for saying what I wanted to about the Catholic Monarchs. And apparently Isabel was influenced by the vile Cardinal Cisneros to do even more harm to the Jewish and Muslim populations that had lived so successfully together in Toledo (with Christians) for so many years.

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  10. Beautiful archetecture and history.

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    1. Frank:
      So good to see you!!! An amazing city and, other than reading, my first real look into Spain's Jewish history.

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  11. Beautiful photos, as always. I'm just starting to catch up on my blog reading after two weeks away. It's great being retired! ;)

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Yes, retirement can be a wonderful thing! Glad you're enjoying it and you're not even 30 yet! So glad your travels went so well.

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  12. I like the pictures and the history lesson and the joke at the end.

    I love the inside of churches though i am not a huge fan of religion. I always think of this Mark Doty quote:

    "I am not, anymore, a Christian, but I am lifted and opened by any space with prayer inside."

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    1. Bob:
      I can quite often be anti religion, especially anti large, wealthy religions that get involved politically in questions of personal rights. But I can at least feel good about the fact that historically they gave so many artists and artisans gainful employment and the opportunity to create brilliant works.

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  13. Replies
    1. Knatolee:
      Santa Maria La Blanca was especially magical.

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