samedi 24 février 2018


It was no coincidence that I received an invitation to attend a lecture at the Kadavumbagam Synagogue of Cochin that belongs to the Malabari Jews of Cochin.

 The synagogue breathes new life all due to the efforts of one man whom I refer to as the Last Jew of Cochin.

it was attended by a large crowd of Indians who were curious about Jews and had many questions. There was a smattering of Jews in the audience, all of whom came to say Hello to me: a british jew whose grandfather was born in Rangoon with her husband visiting Cochin; another London based Jew, a young man who told me of Jews of Pondicherry, a noble looking man of noble descent interested in the history of the region; a man who used to direct the Indian Museum of Calcutta, the chief sub editor of a weekly magazine.
When others left, we said Shabbat prayers welcoming Shabbat before going to a jewish home for a jewish cochin food feast!

The bottle of Hermon Red wine from Galilee was never more appropriate. Thanks to my younger brother Shimon in Haifa.
It was a very happy day for me:
began with a meeting with my good friend R at his Antique Store in Fort Cochin, then driving with him to listen to E, then praying at the Cochin Ernakulam Synagogue at Market Street, repairing to a Cochin Jewish meal with wine from the Galilee..
At the dinner, I met some very lovely people, educated, erudite and well travelled..
Cochin has been a treasury of interesting people for me, like the poet would say: an unending bakery to feed and nurture my intellectual curiosity about this quaint little town by the sea
which Zheng He visited four times in his voyages around the world in the 15th Century..
I will be back..